February 16 is the world whale day. And for the Mediterranean the priority is "to celebrate and protect these sea giants who live in the Pelagos Sanctuary, still threatened by plastic, noise and maritime traffic pollution". The WWF Italia says so by announcing a new collaboration with the Cima Foundation which is responsible for implementing the High Quality Whale Watching certification.
The Memorandum of Understanding between WWF and the Cima Foundation provides for mutual support of programs for the protection of the Mediterranean and for the sustainability of anthropic activities including, in particular whale watching and maritime traffic.
In the Pelagos Sanctuary, in force since 2002 thanks to an agreement signed by France, Italy and the Principality of Monaco, common whales, sperm whales, pilot whales, dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, dolphins and the lesser known zifio live. "It is therefore important not only to promote interest in marine biodiversity in general, but to ensure that the rules are respected so as not to disturb the animals during observation.
"Whale watching can be practiced in different ways: day trips on motorboats or inflatable boats and even weeks of sailing holidays. This is why it is difficult to give numbers on the number of participants. Furthermore, there is currently no legislative 'regime' This is why, for some years now, the Accobams secretariat has registered the High Quality Whale Watching brand, developed in collaboration with the Pelagos secretariat, "explains Cima Foundation researcher in the marine ecosystems, Aurélie Moulins.
"The collaboration with Cima Foundation - underlines the president of WWF Italy, Donatella Bianchi - will strengthen our activities on the defense of the sea. In 2020 we will also launch a specific program for monitoring cetaceans thanks to a new Community that will 'sail' in the coming months , the 'Panda Sails', on which biologists and researchers will be able to collect data through visual and acoustic surveys ".