ASI – Preliminary Results

In the framework of the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative, aimed at improving the understanding of the conservation status of cetaceans at the Mediterranean/Black Sea macroregional level, the first synoptic survey of the whole Mediterranean Sea has been ongoing since June 2018. It has been carried out by combining aerial- and vessel-based visual survey methods and passive acoustic monitoring (PAM), following a harmonized scientific methodology.

Five Research Vessels, eight aircrafts and nearly a hundred observers from all the Mediterranean countries having received a specific training, have been surveying the whole Mediterranean during the months of June and July, to collect data on cetaceans’ population distribution and abundance but also on other threatened megafauna species, e.g., sea turtles and sea birds. Marine litter from 40 cm size were also surveyed from planes.


While the  vessel based survey is still ongoing, the aerial survey is now completed.


I.  Preliminary maps showing the resulting aerial observations.

Transects covered

Large cetacean species

Medium size cetacean species

Small size cetacean species

Other megafauna



Marine Litter


II. Preliminary maps showing the resulting maritime observations (as of July 2018).