A recent study found that the occurrence of fin whales in the Mediterranean has increased by 300 percent over 20 years.
Data was collected by the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) by performing cetacean surveys along a fixed transect in the Tyrrhenian Sea twice a week from 1989 to 1992. The researchers used passenger ferries as observation platforms which provided them with a cost-effective method to travel the exact same route every time. The research restarted in 2007 with a fixed transect just south of the Pelagos Sanctuary.
Throughout the research, fin whales were the only species that experienced any major change. Sightings increased more than 300 percent and their distribution in the area changed dramatically between the two periods. The researchers suggest that the increase could be due to high levels of Chlorophyll and an increase in maritime traffic in the Pelagos Sanctuary.
To learn more:
- Find the study, published in Marine Ecology, here: Changes in cetacean presence, relative abundance and distribution over 20 years along a trans-regional fixed line transect in the Central Tyrrhenian Sea
Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.