Ionian Dolphin Project
The Ioninan Dolphin Project (IDP) is a long-term research and conservation programme conducted by the Tethys Research Institute. It aims at ensuring the long-term viability of dolphin species living in coastal waters of the eastern Ionian Sea.
Research by Tethys is providing support to dolphin conservation efforts, through actions including:
- continued monitoring of dolphin groups through field research methods including boat surveys and individual photo-identification, to detect population trends and identify critical habitats;
- research on factors threatening the local ecosystems, particularly excessive fishing;
- public awareness, education and capacity building initiatives (e.g. involvement of a large number of students and volunteers, dolphin events organized locally, public presentations, lectures at local schools, production of multimedia);
- contacts and meetings with the local Authorities and fishermen orgranizations, aimed to raise awareness on the need of establishing measures to protect dolphins and implement existing regulations (e.g. to prevent illegal fishing);
- dissemination of information in the scientific literature and delivery of management proposals to international agreements and bodies concerned with the protection of marine biodiversity
Within the framework of the implementation of the Action Plan for the conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea and aware of the important results to be reached by the Project, RAC/SPA has, since 2005, supported the Ionian Dolphin Project.
Recently, a dedicated bilangual website to this Project is online: ioniandolphinproject.org. This website aims to increase the interest about the conservation of cetaceans inhabiting the waters of the Ionian Sea, by encouraging residents, charter/flotillas sailing holiday operator and visitors to the area to report their sightings of cetaceans, through a user-friendly on-line form.