In occasione dei primi dieci anni dall’istituzione della Riserva Marina di Porto Cesareo (Lecce), il 30 e 31 ottobre, si è svolto il workshop intitolato “Pesca e gestione delle aree marine protette”.
All’evento, organizzato dall’Università del Salento, dal Consorzio di gestione dell’Area Marina Protetta di Porto Cesareo e dalla Società Italiana di Biologia Marina, è stato invitato anche Giovanni Bearzi, presidente dell’Istituto Tethys.
La presentazione di Bearzi, dal titolo “Delfini e pesca in Mediterraneo: depredazione e interazioni trofiche in aree marine soggette a varie misure di tutela”, verteva sulle ricerche condotte da Tethys nelle due aree di studio dell’isola di Kalamos (Grecia) e dell’area marina protetta di Porto Cesareo. Bearzi ha delineato le problematiche relative all’eccessivo sforzo di pesca effettuato intorno a Kalamos e il conseguente declino della popolazione di delfino comune, e ha illustrato i risultati dello studio appena conclusosi relativo alle interazioni tra cetacei e pesca costiera nell’area marina protetta della località pugliese.
L’evento ha rappresentato per Tethys un’interessante occasione di confronto con la realtà della pesca artigianale e con quella di ricercatori, tecnici e operatori delle aree marine protette italiane e transfrontaliere.
Per ulteriori informazioni:
Libro degli abstract del workshop
Apulia Dolphin Project
Ionian Dolphin Project
31 October 2008
28 October 2008
I wrote a short essay that was accepted as an Editorial in the renown scientific journal Conservation Biology.
This article is now in press and its published version should be out in February 2009. I would like to share it with Blog readers ahead of print.
The essay is meant to be food for thought for people including myself.
Bearzi G. In press. When swordfish conservation biologists eat swordfish. Conservation Biology (scheduled February 2009). (84 Kb)
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:25
27 October 2008
On 2-4 March, 2009, the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society will take place in Istanbul (Turkey) and will be hosted by the Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TÜDAV).
Since climate change is a major concern all over the world both on land and at sea and there is increasing evidence of its negative effects on biodiversity, the theme of the conference is ‘Climate change and marine mammals’.
The scientific committee of the conference is composed by Graham Pierce, Mario Acquarone, Alexei Birkun, Peter Evans, Alexandre Gannier, Ali Cemal Gücü, Colin MacLeod, Giuseppe Nortabartolo di Sciara (Tethys honorary president), Ayaka Öztürk, Bayram Öztürk, and Simone Panigada (Tethys vice-president).
The conference organizers welcome contributions relating to topics such as 1) historical catch records of cetaceans in the Black Sea, 2) Mediterranean monk seals and their management/conservation, 3) marine mammals of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. However, talks and posters on all aspects of marine mammal science are equally appreciated.
If you are interested, please note that abstracts must be submitted no later than November 3rd, 2008, and that early registration ends on January 7th, 2009.
For more information:
European Cetacean Society 2009
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 07:56
26 October 2008
The 10th annual seminar of CRMM (Centre de Recherche sur les Mammifères Marins) field correspondents, called ‘Monitoring Strategies for Marine Mammal Populations Symposium’, is scheduled for November 21st to 23rd, 2008, and takes place in La Rochelle, France.
The meeting aims to gather stakeholders, scientists and field biologists to discuss issues relating to the following topics: expressing the societal demand in monitoring marine mammal populations, converting the societal demand into measurable parameters, existing practices of monitoring, marine mammal population indicators and their performance, examples of integrated monitoring strategies.
Scientists such as Peter Evans, Aleta Hohn, Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara (Tethys honorary president), Graham Pierce, Vincent Ridoux and Mark Tasker will be there as invited speakers.
If you are interested, please note that online registration is open for few more days, until October 30th.
For more information:
Monitoring Strategies for Marine Mammal Populations Symposium
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 06:36
25 October 2008
An island previously reserved for military use turned out to be a safe heaven for the endangered Mediterranean monk seal. Three out of the eight caves are suitable for pupping and in 2004 ten pups were identified, four in 2005 and seven in 2007.
Being off limits for all but the military, the beaches of this island provided a safe place for mothers and pups to rest, a behavior that has not been observed in this species in the Mediterranean Sea recently.
This newly discovered colony, with relatively high natality compared to other breeding sites in the Mediterranean Sea and the rare use of open beaches, is of outstanding conservation value and is in urgent need of effective protection.
Eleonora De Sabata
Illustration: distribution of Mediterranean monk seal, from Monachus Guardian
For more information:
Dendrinos D., A.A. Karamanlidis, S. Kotomatas, V. Paravas, S. Adamantopoulou. 2008. Report of a new Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) breeding colony in the Aegean Sea, Greece. Aquatic Mammals 34(3):355-361.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:30
24 October 2008
The grim situation of research in Italy is raising international interest. An editorial recently published on Nature, one of the top science journals, portrays a scary picture (see link below).
Editorial -- Nature 455, 835-836 (16 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/455835b; Published online 15 October 2008
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 08:27
23 October 2008
Scientific research done by Tethys since 1991 documented ecosystem damage caused by overfishing in the Greek waters east of Lefkada and around the island of Kalamos - a Natura 2000 area.
This resulted in ecosystem collapse and decline of marine megafauna including formerly abundant short-beaked common dolphins.
Local and regional non-governmental organizations have now joined forces to call for urgent fisheries management action that may result in ecosystem recovery, protect biodiversity, preserve fish stocks, and allow for the long-term survival of artisanal fisheries.
To see the Call: http://www.cetaceanalliance.org/call/
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:19
22 October 2008
Our friend Chris Johnson, while on a vaquita research expedition in Mexico, witnessed and documented an encounter with a lone killer whale calf.
Watch the video at:
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 15:33
21 October 2008
Solo una persona ha azzardato pubblicamente una risposta al cetoquiz del 14 ottobre scorso. L'ipotesi di 'uno zifio anziano' ha una sua verosimiglianza. Si tratta in effetti di un cetaceo odontoceto, ma non di uno zifio.
La foto, scattata in Mar Ligure nel corso della campagna di ricerca 2008 del Cetacean Sanctuary Research, ritrae la sezione anteriore della testa di un capodoglio, probabilmente di età avanzata. Una pigmentazione non comune e inaspettata che può aver tratto in inganno.
La foto qui riportata (click sulla foto per ingrandire) mostra una parte più riconoscibile dello stesso individuo, in posizione verticale e a bocca aperta, mentre è impegnato a socializzare con altri capodogli.
Grazie a Sabina Airoldi per la segnalazione!
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 11:04
20 October 2008
E' stato finalmente tradotto in italiano il magnifico The Story of Stuff.
La versione sottotitolata si può vedere su:
http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=TNRdMDpFipE (Parte 1 di 3)
http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=cBgtEoFAt7s (Parte 2 di 3)
http://it.youtube.com/watch?v=qBXgNgABdqs (Parte 3 di 3)
Una versione doppiata (malino, per cui si perde il pathos della versione originale) si trova su: http://www.alessandropagano.net/blog/2008/08/20/the-story-of-stuff/
Per la versione inglese originale (ovviamente migliore):
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:51
18 October 2008
The web site of Tethys' Ionian Dolphin Project has just been updated and renewed.
It now includes a comprehensive report of some of the work done by Tethys collaborators in the eastern Ionian Sea across 18 years - between July 1991 and September 2008.
Please visit the new site at: Ionian Dolphin Project.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 17:22
In 2009 the Tethys Research Institute will launch a dolphin research and conservation project in the Gulf of Corinth, Greece, in the context of Tethys' long-standing Ionian Dolphin Project.
The Gulf is a semi-closed area inhabited by three cetacean species: bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins and short-beaked common dolphins.
Surveys at sea with inflatable craft will be conducted between April and September 2009. Detailed information and photo albums can be found online at: http://www.tethys.org/tri_courses/courses_index_e.htm (Select: Ionian Dolphin Project)
Researchers and volunteers will stay in a comfortable field station located in the beautiful village of Galaxidi, a short drive away from the stunning archeological site of Delphi.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:10
17 October 2008
Tethys president Giovanni Bearzi, together with colleagues Caterina Maria Fortuna and Randall R. Reeves, have just published a review paper on bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea.
Bearzi G., Fortuna C.M., Reeves R.R. 2008. Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea. Mammal Review. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2907.2008.00133.x
Ecology and conservation of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the Mediterranean Sea
Giovanni Bearzi, Caterina Maria Fortuna and Randall R. Reeves
Copyright © 2008 Mammal Society/Blackwell Publishing
1. Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus are amongst the best-known cetaceans. In the Mediterranean Sea, however, modern field studies of cetaceans did not start until the late 1980s. Bottlenose dolphins have been studied only in relatively small portions of the basin, and wide areas remain largely unexplored.
2. This paper reviews the ecology, behaviour, interactions with fisheries and conservation status of Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins, and identifies threats likely to have affected them in historical and recent times.
3. Whilst intentional killing was probably the most important cause of mortality until the 1960s, important ongoing threats include incidental mortality in fishing gear and the reduced availability of key prey caused by overfishing and environmental degradation throughout the region. Additional potential or likely threats include the toxic effects of xenobiotic chemicals, epizootic outbreaks, direct disturbance from boating and shipping, noise, and the consequences of climate change.
4. The flexible social organization and opportunistic diet and behaviour of bottlenose dolphins may allow them to withstand at least some of the effects of overfishing and habitat degradation. However, dolphin abundance is thought to have declined considerably in the region and management measures are needed to prevent further decline.
5. Management strategies that could benefit bottlenose dolphins, such as sustainable fishing, curbing marine pollution and protecting biodiversity, are already embedded in legislation and treaties. Compliance with those existing commitments and obligations should be given high priority.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:51
16 October 2008
Il figlio della ricercatrice Tethys Arianna Azzellino è nato il 30 settembre alle 18:52.
Arianna racconta: "Le ore di sonno sono in media 4 o 5 a notte e ogni tanto si riesce a rubacchiare qualche mezz'ora di sonno durante il giorno... Ciononostante è sicuramente l'esperienza più bella e intensa della vita vista fin qui!"
Auguriamo a Giorgio una lunga e felicissima permanenza in questo mondo.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 06:19
15 October 2008
Assessing the ratio of males to females in endangered populations is important for conservation work. Sexing a dolphin at sea is tricky, not least because the genital area of the mammal is usually concealed beneath the water. Researchers generally have to rely on time-consuming observations, either inferring a female's sex from its close association with a calf or taking sharp photos of the genital area (and the dorsal fin). The alternative is a biopsy sample, potentially unpleasant for the animal, again combined wih photos allwing for the individual identification of that individual.
Lucy Rowe and Stephen Dawson, marine biologists at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, found an alternative. They recently published a paper reporting how photographs of dorsal fins were used to determine the gender of bottlenose dolphins in a well-studied population in New Zealand's Doubtful Sound. This technique allowed to sex the animals from features measured solely from dorsal fin identification photographs, routinely collected as part of non-invasive population monitoring.
The pair teamed an over-the-counter digital camera with a pair of laser pointers, which project two reference spots precisely 10 cm apart onto the dorsal fin. This procedure allowed an accurate determination of dorsal fin size. The digital photographs were then compared with existing fin and sex records for the population.
Applying this technique, the two researchers found that dorsal fins of males had significantly more scars than female's, probably as a result of aggressive behaviour among males. Fins had a median of 15% scar tissue, whereas in females this was just 3.9%. Conversely, the dorsal fins of females tended to have a greater number of patchy skin lesions, with a median of 12.1% coverage compared with males' 6.8%. Rowe and Dawson then used a statistical analysis of number of fin nicks, fin size and scarring to correctly predict the sex of 93% of 43 dolphins.
This laser technique could potentially be applied to other populations of dolphin or even to other species with slight sexual dimorphism. The authors are currently testing their technique to another population of dolphins in the nearby Dusky Sound, and "initial signs are good".
Rowe L., Dawson S. 2008. Determining the sex of bottlenose dolphins from Doubtful Sound using dorsal fin photographs. Marine Mammal Science doi: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2008.00235.x
More information: Nature.com
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 10:06
14 October 2008
10 October 2008
The Dolphins of Greece is not only an absolute wonderful experience, but it allocates for one a time to reflect upon the environmental conditions we live today. Each day was a new experience. Each day in the Gulf was a new way to look at the life of not only the dolphins but all who interact within this environment. Joan and Mauro were excellent mentors who challenged us to critique all that was observed. I can think of no one else I would rather have to lead this group! The team was great and the interaction was extremely beneficial. This was a big addition to my 11 week trip throughout Europe. Keep up the good works and education to us all!
The Dolphins of Greece expedition provided through Earthwatch was an absolutely AWESOME and AMAZING experience!!! Joan and Mauro were wonderful as a Principle Investigator and research assistant. They taught me so much about in-the-field research and the video documentaries were very educational. The accomodations were truly amazing, the food was incredibly delicious, the views was awe-inspiring, and the dolphins were breath-taking. I had such a wonderful time and learned more than I had ever hoped to. I know that I will be able to use this experience to help raise awareness and educate others about all of the important issues that relate to this expedition! Thanks so much!
This was my first Earthwatch trip and it was worth every penny. I appreciated Joan’s sarcasm and forthright communication style. We were very lucky to have two people on our trip who were dolphin trainers and educators from the Sea World environment. Their experience allowed Joan to delve a little deeper into the science and the methodology and we all benefited from this. The food was really tasty throughout the week, the accommodations very nice, and Posi the dog was a highlight. I learned from the videos and lectures as well as from the doing the actual surveys of dolphin behavior. We were fortunate enough to see dolphins each time we went out so we had varied experiences. There were times that it was a little stressful on the boat but seeing the dolphins made it all worthwhile. Mauro was the assistant during our trip and he was really an asset to the group. His sense of humor and intelligence made the excursions fun and interesting. Overall, this was a great trip with great people, a great place to visit, and great animals to study. I can’t wait to share what I learned with everyone back home.
Since this was my first Earthwatch trip, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was a GREAT trip and I’m definitely interested in taking other Earthwatch trips now. I really enjoyed getting to see the dolphins, learning about the research processes and seeing Greece. Joan’s personality made it enjoyable. His sarcasm and frankness was refreshing and made his occasional grumpiness bearable ☺. The banter between Joan and Mauro was a lot of fun. It was clear to see how much both of them care about dolphins and the environment. It was fun sharing geocaching with the group and I’m glad we finally got Joan to the castle! I learned a lot from the documentaries and I have a lot to teach people back home. Thanks for the great experience.
The Dolphins of Greece was my first Earthwatch expedition, and it has exceeded my expectations. I work for Sea World and the Sea World/Busch Gardens Conservation Fund sent me on this expedition, and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity. I work with dolphins on a daily basis and it was such a good learning opportunity to see Joan’s work with the dolphins in the gulf and to be able to observe the animals in their natural habitat. Although I had a base of knowledge about dolphins, Joan and Mauro were exceptional teachers and I learned more than I antcipated. I really enjoyed the emphasis on conservation and I now feel like I have a large amount of knowledge that I can pass on to my fellow co-workers and guests of Sea World. This trip has also strengthened my desire to pursue more education and to work in the field of marine consevation. My fellow volunteers were wonderful and much of our time was spent laughing with each other. The group dynamics with the volunteers, Joan and Mauro were excellent and we all shared a similar sense of humor. The accomadations were great and I really enjoyed the time we spent sight-seeing and eating together. I cannot say enough good things about this trip and feel so fortunate to have been able to participate on this expedition.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 11:10
09 October 2008
Bad news for the Italian fisheries. A new report by WWF, called “Lifting the lid on Italy’s bluefin tuna fishery”, confirmed the Italy’s widespread disregard of fisheries management rules for Mediterranean bluefin tuna.
The report surveyed Italian catches and markets and found out that the fishing for Mediterranean bluefin tuna is unsustainable and totally out of control. It had been shown that, for example, Italy is fishing twice the legal national quota, most of the time fishing boats are assisted by illegal spotter aircrafts or are without fishing licence, and the real catches are often unregistered.
WWF will present this new report to the Italian fisheries ministry and to European Commission fisheries officials, urging prompt investigations. WWF is advocating an immediate closure, until the fishery is brought under control and sustainable management measures are put in place.
Photo credit: WWF
WWF: more information
WWF: the report as pdf file
WWF: what you can do to save the bluefin tuna
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 09:26
07 October 2008
A short video on YouTube, worth watching:
Everybody who spent their childhood near the Mediterranean Sea coast, snorkelling, diving, fishing, or just walking along the coast, can probably tell a similar story.
I myself am shocked by the degree of devastation and loss. Only 30 years ago I have seen a diversity of marine life that does no longer seem to exist, and fish in numbers and sizes that just aren't there anymore.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 17:48
05 October 2008
“4 O’clock Out, Out… 5, no, 6, 7 sighted!” Five pairs of eyes swivel as one over to the right of the boat and peer expectantly over the clear blue water. I can feel the level of the excitement in and around me rise as the details of the sighting become clear. If I don’t see anything except water straightaway I feel so disappointed. Then a few seconds later, the glorious sight of a dorsal fin arcing out from the waters surface and then through the air releases all the tension and I could swear the beautiful dolphins were grinning at me before they glide back out of sight. The sun is behind me warming my back and nature is putting on an acrobatic display for me before my very eyes. I feel so spoilt.
If that wasn’t enough then, as soon as I return to the cottage hidden away in the islands hillside, a feeling of relaxation overwhelms me. Seven year-round residents, a few visiting boats, Stefano and Zsuzsanna form the Tethys team, the other volunteers Marta and Ruth... and me. It is not an island of sights and manicured prettiness, but there is the most amazing peace and quiet. This is not 5-star luxury... the treatment I receive from the Tethys team is far simpler and far better than that. I realise that hospitality should be measured with hearts and not stars. From Susie’s early morning call, to beautiful music and a breakfast of simple food, locally sourced. Coffee if it’s needed, and nothing is too much trouble to ask for. I have never felt at home so quickly anywhere. Including home.
I soon realised that the team look after you better than any waiter, butler or maid, because they treat you (and in turn you treat them) just like a family. There is a complete respect and a feeling of support. The team ethic here is strong too. It needs to be for Tethys to run such a tight, professional operation, but one that opens its doors to complete strangers every week. I am completely absorbed into the research team. I clean and cook with them. I sail, spot dolphins and record the results with them. I work on the results with them and I feel like I am doing good to the world with them. And then, at the end of each day, I eat and relax with them. This is not a holiday for loners, or a place to come to have your entertainment pre-packaged and served up to order. The satisfaction of a job well done and the smiles that I share from the natural fun of a close-knit group are more than enough for me.
It is amazing too to see the people I was laughing with, just the night before, transformed into a highly focussed crew on a boat. Orders are barked because they need to be. Discipline is high, but every rule is in place for a reason. I know when I’ve done something wrong and I soon realise that when they are at work, their business is taken very seriously.
Everything that they and I do is explained clearly and with care, and this brings my visit to Tethys to life even more. Now I understand why the ropes on a boat must be tied just so, why the settings on a camera are important to get the best images for recognition and why accuracy in all activity is paramount. And I also understand a little why the ecology of the sea is changing, and what just a few of the causes and impacts of this might be. And maybe, just maybe, how a few things that I do can change it. There is no preaching here, just simple logic, backed up by fact and research. It is much more powerful than any other message I have ever seen. Nothing is shocking, just well presented by people who love what they do and their passion for their work is infectious.
And then I’m back on the boat. Dolphins are nearby and my heart is racing because I know I must perform my task well to help record their activity. And I understand why the smallest details are important, and it all makes sense. When the work is done for the first sighting I know there will be time to relax and enjoy watching the creatures we’ve recorded play. To take photos, to marvel at their beauty and their personality. And because I now understand just a little more about why they do, what they do and what it means for the world, I feel closer to them than I could ever have imagined and I can smile back at them with all my heart.
The Ionian Dolphin Project is neither a dolphin-watching-program nor a pure holiday. It is much, much more than this – and it is something completely different. I joined as a volunteer primarily because I have been travelling to Greece for some years now and I wanted to see a different side of this country I so fell in love with. I was always aware of the fact that there was more to it than Ouzo and Sirtaki, but this week on the Kalamos island was more than I had thought it would be.
I experienced true international teamwork in the best possible way. I spent more time outside in a week than I usually get in a month. I enjoyed some brilliant home made (Italian!!!) food. I learned a lot about cetaceans in the Greek seas and about the problem of over-fishing. And yes, I did see dolphins in the wild. But the amazing thing is that the days we did not see dolphins were not even the least bit less interesting, fun or informative as the days we actually saw them.
A big fat THANK YOU to the incredible staff, Stefano, Zsuzsanna and Mauro for making it so easy to feel as part of the project. And thumbs up for Marta and Andy, probably the best roommates I ever had.
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 14:57
04 October 2008
Due nuovi articoli scientifici pubblicati sull'International Journal of Comparative Psychology (vedi sotto) hanno fatto scattare a 300 il contatore dei contributi dell'Istituto Tethys.
Si tratta di 75 pubblicazioni scientifiche, 208 contributi congressuali e 17 fra libri e altre pubblicazioni a carattere divulgativo (quest'ultima è di certo una sottostima). Ciascuno di questi contributi conta uno o più collaboratori di Tethys fra i coautori.
Dal momento della fondazione di Tethys (nel 1986) fanno circa 14 contributi all'anno - una media niente male.
Alle 300 pubblicazioni di cui sopra andrebbero aggiunte 53 fra tesi di laurea, Master o dottorato svolte con Tethys e volendo anche le newsletter (Cetacea News, Blowhole, Tethys News) e molti articoli divulgativi pubblicati su vari periodici.
La lista completa delle pubblicazioni, in continuo aggiornamento, può essere scaricata come file pdf dal sito dell'Istituto, nella sezione Pubblicazioni/Publications.
Giovanni Bearzi e Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
Immagine tratta dalla locandina del film '300'
Wright A.J., Aguilar Soto N., Baldwin A.L., Bateson M., Beale C.M., Clark C., Deak T., Edwards E.F., Fernández A., Godinho A., Hatch L., Kakuschke A., Lusseau D., Martineau D., Romero L.M., Weilgart L., Wintle B., Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Martin V. 2007. Anthropogenic noise as a stressor in animals: a multidisciplinary perspective. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 20(2-3):250-273.
Wright A.J., Aguilar Soto N., Baldwin A.L., Bateson M., Beale C.M., Clark C., Deak T., Edwards E.F., Fernández A., Godinho A., Hatch L., Kakuschke A., Lusseau D., Martineau D., Romero L.M., Weilgart L., Wintle B., Notarbartolo di Sciara G., Martin V. 2007. Do marine mammals experience stress related to anthropogenic noise? International Journal of Comparative Psychology 20(2-3):274-316.
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 07:08
03 October 2008
È stato inaugurato a fine settembre il resort "Atlantis, The Palm" nell'isola artificiale Palm Jumeirah a Dubai. Quest'ultima fa parte della cosiddetta "Palm Trilogy" insieme a Palm Jebel Ali e Palm Deira, le tre isole artificiali costruite dall'azienda Nakheel.
Ai risultati degli studi di impatto ambientale sulla barriera corallina, condotti prima dell'inizio dei lavori, è stata data poca importanza. Invece, sono stati evidenziati i materiali e le tecnologie moderne utilizzati per la costruzione. Viene dato ampio risalto al fatto che quest'opera è stata realizzata completamente con materiali naturali: 94 milioni di metri cubi di sabbia e 7 milioni di tonnellate di roccia. È stato stimato che per la costruzione di questa "Palma" sono stati impiegati materiali che potrebbero costruire un muro lungo tre volte la circonferenza terrestre.
Oltre a decine di alberghi, Palm Jumeirah ospita 500 appartamenti, 2.000 ville (tutte con piscina), 200 negozi di lusso, diversi cinema, porti di lusso con illuminazione sottomarina 24 ore su 24 e un parco marino che comprende gigantesche vasche con pesci di ogni varietà.
In particolare il resort Atlantis vanta gigantesche vasche che contengono più di 65.000 pesci di innumerevoli specie: razze, squali (tra cui lo squalo balena Rhincodon typus), pesci tropicali e un delfinario. Le suite più lussuose hanno la vista sulle vasche dei pesci, il che comporta una illuminazione artificiale delle vasche per la maggior parte del giorno e della notte.
Il delfinario "Dolphin Bay" ospita numerosi tursiopi che sono stati prelevati dalle Isole Salomone, nel Pacifico Meridionale e trasportati con lunghi voli aerei. Vengono proposte immersioni con i delfini, e ai turisti viene addirittura fornito un acquascooter per nuotare insieme agli animali. È anche possibile entrare con loro nelle vasche meno profonde dove è consentito toccare i cetacei e giocare a palla con loro. L'intero programma dura 90 minuti, di cui 30 in acqua con gli animali, e vengono ammessi gruppi di 10 persone alla volta. I delfini sono disponibili tutti i giorni dalle 10 del mattino alle 6 del pomeriggio. Naturalmente ci sono in programma anche spettacoli nei quali i delfini si esibiscono in acrobazie.
"Dolphin Bay" collabora con istituti per la conservazione dell'ambiente marino come la Kerzner Marine Foundation e dona parte degli introiti a centri che si occupano di riabilitazione dei mammiferi marini. Per quanto riguarda il caso del resort Atlantis, e di altre strutture analoghe che stanno nascendo, è interessante il contrasto tra gli spettacoli di delfini ammaestrati e la pretesa di conservare questa ed altre specie in natura.
Non tutti sono in grado di discriminare ciò che è giusto da ciò che è "mascherato da giusto". L'unico modo per capire è non fermarsi a ciò che viene presentato, ma informarsi meglio e farsene un'idea personale (e ancora una volta emerge l'importanza di una buona divulgazione scientifica). Chi si occupa di conservazione della natura sa che a volte per raggiungere uno scopo può essere necessario accettare dei compromessi, ma c'è un limite a questo? Io credo di sì.
Photo credit: Atlantis
Pubblicato da Giovanni Bearzi a 05:46
01 October 2008
WDCS The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, a faithful supporter and collaborator of Tethys, is running a campaign named We Sail for the Whale alongside the world’s premier global yacht race, the Volvo Ocean Race.
The goal is to highlight the urgent need for better protection of the world’s whales and dolphins, and the race will help building support for safe havens for whales and dolphins. Key focus of the campaign is a petition calling on for the establishment of 12 marine protected areas around the world, by 2012. The petition will be presented to governments and international conservation agreements in June 2009 at the end of the race in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sign the Global Petition for Marine Protected Areas!
Pubblicato da Silvia Bonizzoni a 15:34