29 February 2008

The Making of Whales of the Mediterranean Sea

(...) When we reached our final destination in Paleochora, it was time to travel north. We dragged 7 bags onto a bus for three hours, took an overnight ferry to Athens, jumped in a car and drove 6 hours to the small town of Vonitsa. Giovanni Beazi, Joan Gonzalvo and Silvia Bonizzoni of Tethys took us under their wing for a week. We learned about the complex issues surrounding the decline of the short beaked common dolphin around Kalamos and in the Mediterranean over recent years.

Backed by irrefutable data, Giovanni trusted us to tell a story that had taken him years to piece together. Many people think that dolphin, or any marine mammal research for that matter is an easy job. On the contrary, it takes years of dedication and passion, long hours usually accompanied by a lack of funding, and meticulously attention to every detail to document a subject. In Giovanni's case, the hardest part is that he has had to watch those animals disappear in front of his eyes. Giovanni has worked in the eastern Med for years, and now Joan is leading the way in sharing the science and conservation posibilities with local communities and fishermen. If you want to get involved and help them, you can. They run a fantastic Earthwatch program, which is a great opportunity to see bottlenose dolphins in the wild - a population that continues to thrive, unlike most in the Med. (...)

Chris Johnson / EarthOCEAN

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