The Pelagos Sanctuary extends about 90.000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and the Island of Sardinia, encompassing Corsica and the Tuscany Archipelago; in 1999 it has been established by three nations, Italy, France and the Principality of Monaco, becoming the first high-seas and the first supra-national protected area in the world.
It was Tethys who, back in 1990, first proposed a project for the establishment of a marine biosphere reserve to the European Association Rotary for the Environment; the Institute’s studies had shown that this was the most important habitat for cetaceans in the region, given its high species diversity and its intense biological activity.
Although cetaceans are formally protected in the Sanctuary, whales and dolphins continue to face many threats, from chemical and noise pollution, to collisions with fast ferries, to entanglement in fishing nets; from scarsity of food due to overfishing to global climate changes.
The Cetacean Sanctuary Project has been collecting the largest dataset of its kind, over the longest timespan, which represents a sound baseline for the conservation of cetaceans and their environment in this precious area of the Mediterranean.
Learn more about the Pelagos Sanctuary