One Ocean Foundation has launched a new important partnership with NATO’s Center for Marine Research and Experimentation (NATO CMRE STO) with more than 60 years of experience in underwater research and over 20 years of involvement in cetacean research.
NATO CMRE’s director, Dr. Catherine Warner, ufficialized the partnership on Friday 11th of September at YCCS, in Porto Cervo.
Analysis based on studies carried out by the SEAME Sardinia Onlus will be integrated, an association carrying out multiyear research on the pelagic cetaceans present in the marine area covering approximately 4,000 km2 between 15 and 30 miles from Capo Ferro, in the Costa Smeralda. From 2019, One Ocean has been supporting the basic research on cetaceans carried out by SEAME in the Canyon of Caprera, and their 10 years of studies have shown that the area is regularly frequented by seven of the eight species considered to be regularly present in the western Mediterranean: the common whale, sperm whale, Cuvier’s whale, grampus, common dolphin, striped dolphin, and bottlenose dolphin.
The new research project will support the primary objective to have the “Canyon of Caprera” area be recognized as Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) by demonstrating the importance of the area for foraging of deep-diving cetaceans.
NATO-CMRE will be performing acoustic surveys around the deep-sea “Canyon di Caprera” by deploying self-developed autonomous acoustic recorders to guarantee data collection in absence of human presence, hence allowing for data collection over a long period of time and in remote areas. Actual deployment will take place from May to July 2021, and collected data will be made available to the public.
The research project will be integrated with a series of educational and awareness activities dedicated to high school students and to society as a whole.