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Data to share

A first look at the results of the workshop organized at the European Cetacean Society

One of Conceptu Maris’ strengths is the use of commercial ferries as observation platforms and research laboratories. This topic and the various projects active in the central and western Mediterranean and in the north-eastern Atlantic for the study of pelagic species from ships, i.e. those that live in deep waters, were discussed during the 35th edition of the European Cetacean Society. In particular, the comparison took place within the workshop “Common Guidelines for Systematic Monitoring of Cetaceans Using Ferries/Cargos as Scientific Platforms“, organized as part of the IMPEL EU Marine Transborder Transects project (by Ispra – Istituto Superiore per Environmental Protection and Research) and LIFE Conceptu Maris (by Triton Research).

In more detail, the scientists who spoke focused on protocols and guidelines for the systematic monitoring of cetaceans using ferries. The main objective was to facilitate the sharing of expertise and promote collaboration to establish a unified protocol for visual investigations, the collection of data and samples, the formatting of databases where the collected information flows and their analysis, so that the results can be the basis for the development of a Decision Support System. This computerized tool will make it possible to identify conservation priorities for each species and, consequently, to support those who have the task of deciding how to protect the faunal and environmental heritage. In this way, the entire amount of data collected in different areas starting from 2022 will be able to speak a common language.

The workshop saw the participation of around thirty people, coming from 23 institutions in 10 countries. After an initial session reserved for project presentations, an interactive session followed in which the participants divided into groups to discuss the four phases of the research work: how to harmonize methodologies and tools for data collection; how to manage data; how to analyze them; how to translate information into priority policy measures and develop a Decision Support System, satisfying European legislative requirements.

The observations made will then feed into a common document, which will promote interoperability between the various databases in Europe.