The main goal of the project is the improvement of the status of conservation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), which is, among the coastal species of cetaceans in the Mediterranean, the most exposed to threats caused by human activity and exploitation of resources.
Most of the threats (collisions , fishing nets and nutrition disorders or breeding farms) are related to the lack of knowledge regarding the presence and movement of these animals in areas where the mentioned human activities take place.
The project is active in the Marine Protected Area of Portofino and has started in 2012. This is the first station of permanent monitoring of Bottlenose dolphins in the Mediterranean.
The DIFI made two acoustic detection units capable of real-time location of the dolphins present in the project area through the recognition of the typical whistles.
The project is conducted in collaboration with the DISTAV , the Marine Protected Area of Portofino , the Coast Guard and the Softeco Sysmat .
The ongoing research activities are multi-disciplinary and include the development of algorithms for detection and tracking of sound sources (such as whales and boats ), the measurement of the acoustic pollution in the marine environment, the impact of sources of environmental noise on the presence of cetaceans in the area.
The project also collaborates with the ARPAL and hosts a station for meteo-marine measurements.