Awareness and education
A fundamental aspect of Tethys’ contribution to marine conservation is public awareness, achieved through the institute’s presence:
- on several social media: Facebook pages (a main page of the Institute, a page dedicated to the IDP Project, two pages on Instagram (CSR and IDP), Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo;
- on public television (Rai, Mediaset and local TVs)
Tethys people authored hundreds of popular science articles on newspapers and magazines, and give talks and lectures on a regular basis. Several popular articles about Tethys are published every year.
Printed newsletters have been published by the institute: “Cetacea News” (1991-92), “Blowhole” (1994); emailed newletters were “Tethys News” (2002 – 2004) and “Tethys” (2013 – 2017).
Tethys is collaborating with several natural history museums (Milano, Venezia, Imperia).
Most important is the direct involvement in the field (between 1988 and 2019) of over 6500 people as research volunteers, from across the world (Italy, UK, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, The Netherlands, Greece, Monaco, Ukraine, Russia, Israel, Australia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam). Tethys’ two long-term research projects (CSR and IDP) are amongst the world’s longest standing programmes of citizen science.
Presentations are organized on a regular basis by both projects to inform the local communities about the work done by Tethys and raise awareness about marine mammals and marine conservation. Such activities, whenever possible, are organised in collaboration with local authorities, schools and NGOs.
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. Both IDP and CSR training courses alternated theoretical seminars with field data collection and practical experiences at sea. Participants were asked to engage in report writing, abstract writing, and preliminary data analysis. Practical work such as photo-identification at sea, matching, and behavioural data collection was included.
IONIAN DOLPHIN PROJECT WEBSITE
A brand new Ionian Dolphin Project website was released in 2019, providing education material such as basic information on marine mammal species present in Ionian Greek waters, as well as guidelines for boaters and sea users on how to behave when coming across cetaceans and monk seals; in addition the website also offers a digital platform to report marine mammal sightings within a citizen science programme.
In September 2019 Tethys Research Institute and Verdeacqua, launched the “Digital Whales” project, funded by Fondazione Cariplo, at the Milan Aquarium. Six flagship species, custom-designed by a digital media artist are on life-size display in augmented-reality, together with around 150 “nuggets” of information and stories in the form of short multimedia presentations and downloadable material. The exhibit can be watched on tablets and smartphones and features a new topic every two months until December 2020.
CETACEI FAI ATTENZIONE
Cetacei FAI attenzione (“Be aware of cetaceans”) is both a public awareness and a citizen science project mainly sponsored by FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano (Italian Fund for the Environment), with the collaboration of the italian Coast Guard, carried out since 2018. Sightings of mediterranean species are collected from owners of pleasure boats, whale watching platforms, and several organisations. Two dedicated posters and a leaflet have been produced and distributed, also presenting a code of conduct to apply when coming across cetaceans.
The Marine_Ecomed project has been created through the support of the Erasmus+ EU Program with the objective to build an international strategic partnership to enhance research and education in the subject of sustainable marine management and communication strategies in this field, within the Mediterranean unique natural and socio-economic context. It is a 3 years project developed by a trans-sectoral international network of institutions such as Universities and Non-Governmental Organizations (among which it appears Tethys), which are geographically based on the European coast over an area that goes from the East (Greece) to the West (Spain) of the Mediterranean.
FURTHER DEDICATED WEBSITES
https://whalesanddolphins.tethys.org/ for participants to the long term projects
https://www.dolphinswithoutborders.net/ the “Dolphins without borders” project
Members of Tethys authored or translated several popular science books
Jahoda M. 2020 Balene salvateci! I cetacei visti da un’altra prospettiva. Ugo Mursia Editore. 272 pp.
Jahoda M. 2009. Squali da salvare. Cinehollywood
Jahoda M. 2008. Translation from English to Italian of the book The Whale Warriors by Peter Heller. I guerrieri delle balene, la battaglia per salvare I più grandi mammiferi della Terra, Corbaccio, Milano 336 pp.
Jahoda M. 2007. Le mie balene. Ugo Mursia Editore, Milano. 152 pp.
Notarbartolo di Sciara G. 2006. I cetacei. Pp. 217-230 in M. Fraissinet and F. Pedretti (eds.), Salvati dall’arca. Alberto Perdisa Editore. 663 pp.
Bearzi G. 2000. I nostri amici delfini. An illustrated educational children’s book. Published by the Tethys Research Institute. 32 pp.
Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Bianchi I. 1998. Guida degli squali e delle razze del Mediterraneo. Franco Muzzio Editore, Padova. 388 pp.
Jahoda M., Bearzi G. 1996. Translation from English to Italian of the book Among whales by Roger Payne. La vita segreta delle balene. Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milano. 427 pp.
Bearzi G. 1994. Dolphins of the Cres-Losinj Archipelago. An illustrated educational children’s booklet. Published by the Tethys Research Institute and Europe Conservation in Croatian, Italian, German and French. 29 pp.
Cafiero G., Jahoda M. 1994. Squali: gli dei del mare. White Star, Vercelli, Italy (also published in English, German, French, Hungarian and Spanish). 144 pp.
Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Demma M. 1994. Guida dei mammiferi marini del Mediterraneo. Franco Muzzio Editore, Padova. 262 pp.
Cafiero G., Jahoda M. 1993. I giganti del mare: storia e storie di balene, orche e delfini. White Star, Vercelli, Italy (also published in English, German, French, Hungarian and Spanish). 144 pp.
Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Jahoda M. 1993 I cetacei del Mar Ligure. Guida all’identificazione delle specie del “Santuario”. Tethys Research Institute, Milano.Notarbartolo di Sciara G. 1981. L’orca. Società Editrice Internazionale, Torino. 177 pp.
Bearzi G. 1992. L’arte della pesca. Pp. 123-153 in G. Notarbartolo di Sciara, ed. Le ricchezze del mare. Nuova ERI Edizioni RAI, Torino (in Italian).
Notarbartolo di Sciara G., ed. 1992. Le ricchezze del mare. Nuova ERI Edizioni RAI, Torino (in Italian). 156 pp
Notarbartolo di Sciara G. 1986. Manuale del cetonauta. Edizioni del Cormorano, Milano. 72 pp.