in 1986, the Tethys Research Institute is a private non-profit
organisation specialising in cetacean
generated one of the largest datasets on Mediterranean cetaceans
and contributed over 300 scientific
aims to protect the Mediterranean biodiversity by promoting the
adoption of a precautionary
approach for the management of natural resources. Public
outreach and conservation activities, coupled
with education and capacity building, find their strength in a robust
scientific background. The work carried out by Tethys strives to prevent
species and to encourage sustainable use of the marine environment.
Tethys first conceived and proposed the creation of the Pelagos
Sanctuary (in 1991) and of the Losinj Dolphin Reserve in Croatia (in 1992).
The Institute has
conducted long-term studies on cetaceans in the Corso-Ligurian-Provencal
basin, in the Ionian Sea and in the Adriatic Sea. Research has also been carried out investigating cetaceans in the Messina Strait and in several other Mediterranean
and Atlantic areas, as well as aerial surveys in the seas around Italy.
Research methods utilised by Tethys include the use of remote sensing and telemetry
data, the combined use of laser range-finding
binoculars and GPS to record the movements
of whales, population studies based on distance sampling and photographic capture-recapture, bioacoustic research, behavioural sampling, remote collection of biopsy samples for genetic and
toxicological analyses, and historical studies.
The Institute holds vast photographic
images that have enabled the identification
of over 1,500 individuals of eight Mediterranean species.
a core team of approximately 30 collaborators, the Tethys Research Institute has involved in its expeditions thousands
of people from all over the world, and has developed a remarkable cetacean research and conservation network.