Tethys’ activities fall into three main categories: research at sea to generate original scientific knowledge, conservation of the marine environment, which involves the management of human activities, and as such it is primarily a political process. Science has an important supporting role in such process, and Tethys has actively worked to provide robust scientific knowledge to marine conservation. Finally an important contribution to marine conservation is public awareness. Tethys has also organised a series of capacity building initiatives aimed to develop expertise on cetacean research and conservation, and encourage collaboration among researchers and institutes working in the Mediterranean and Black Seas