Mike Williamson (
Wed, 7 Oct 1998 10:50:50 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 16:31:06 -0200
From: Margherita Zanardelli <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion

On 29 September the Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary came one step closer to
life after the Italian Government officially agreed on a proposal which
will be shortly forwarded to France and the Principality of Monaco.  The
proposal involves the establishment of an international protected area for
cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea, approx. 100.000 km2 wide, comprised
between the continental coast of Italy, Monaco and France, Corsica, and
northern Sardinia.  A permanent frontal system is the cause of primary
production levels exceptional for Mediterranean offshore waters, which
support a major biomass of krill, Meganyctiphanes norvegica.  Eight
cetacean species inhabit the area, including a large population of striped
dolphins and some thousands fin whales (most of the Mediterranean
population), which congregate there during summer to feed.  Aims of the
Sanctuary will be, among other things, to monitor cetacean population
trends, facilitate the enforcement of existing legislation to curb
pollution, regulate a budding whale watching industry, and increase
awareness among the general public.  Driftnets should no longer pose a
significant threat to cetaceans in the area, as this fishing method is
being phased out from European waters by the European Commission.

The concept of a cetacean sanctuary in the international waters of the
Ligurian Sea was first proposed by the Tethys Research Institute in 1989.
However, the process was stalled by formidable difficulties, not least the
current absence of EEZ from the Mediterranean Sea.  "For today's important
result - a homage from Italy to the International Year of the Oceans - we
should be grateful for the energetic action of Representative Sauro Turroni
and of Hon. Valerio Calzolaio, Undersecretary of the Environment, and to a
very effective awareness campaign undertaken by WWF - said Giuseppe
Notarbartolo di Sciara, who first worked out the idea ten years ago. We
know that Prince Rainier of Monaco is a great supporter of the Sanctuary.
Now we can only hope that France will respond with equal enthusiasm".

Margherita Zanardelli
President, Tethys Research Institute

Margherita Zanardelli
Tethys Research Institute
Viale G.B. Gadio 2, I-20121 Milano, Italy
tel. (+39) 0272001947 - fax (+39) 0272001946
e-mail: -
Tethys Research Institute: