29 February 2008

The Making of Whales of the Mediterranean Sea

(...) When we reached our final destination in Paleochora, it was time to travel north. We dragged 7 bags onto a bus for three hours, took an overnight ferry to Athens, jumped in a car and drove 6 hours to the small town of Vonitsa. Giovanni Beazi, Joan Gonzalvo and Silvia Bonizzoni of Tethys took us under their wing for a week. We learned about the complex issues surrounding the decline of the short beaked common dolphin around Kalamos and in the Mediterranean over recent years.

Backed by irrefutable data, Giovanni trusted us to tell a story that had taken him years to piece together. Many people think that dolphin, or any marine mammal research for that matter is an easy job. On the contrary, it takes years of dedication and passion, long hours usually accompanied by a lack of funding, and meticulously attention to every detail to document a subject. In Giovanni's case, the hardest part is that he has had to watch those animals disappear in front of his eyes. Giovanni has worked in the eastern Med for years, and now Joan is leading the way in sharing the science and conservation posibilities with local communities and fishermen. If you want to get involved and help them, you can. They run a fantastic Earthwatch program, which is a great opportunity to see bottlenose dolphins in the wild - a population that continues to thrive, unlike most in the Med. (...)

Chris Johnson / EarthOCEAN

Read the whole story

28 February 2008


“Any scientist who wants to make important discoveries must study an important problem”.

— Peter Medawar in Advice to a Young Scientist

Reply by Daniel Pauly to question: "What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?" on Nature's Lifelines. Nature 421:23 (2 January 2003).

26 February 2008

Save the tuna

Tuna are vanishing, worldwide, due to unsustainable fishing pressure and short-sighted environmental management.

That tuna are collapsing is now perfectly clear. It has been repeated by a large number of scientists and experts, and even by fishermen.

So, it’s time for us to act. If you want to change the situation, there is something you can do.

If you don’t buy tuna, you give to this amazing species a chance of survival. Take action now: stop consuming tuna, and recommend to your friends to do the same.


(Drawing by Massimo Demma)

For more information:

14 February 2008

Sanctuaries of the Sea

Sanctuaries of the Sea è il quinto e ultimo episodio della serie Cetacean Investigation, una raccolta di documentari prodotta da earthOCEAN.

Negli episodi precedenti Chris e Genevieve Johnson hanno illustrato le caratteristiche del Mediterraneo, hanno parlato dei cetacei che ci vivono e identificato le specie più a rischio e i problemi che le affliggono. Questo nuovo documentario costituisce il capitolo conclusivo della serie e si focalizza sull’importanza delle Aree Marine Protette.

Il protagonista del documentario è Erich Hoyt, autore di numerosi libri e uno dei massimi esperti di aree protette. Vengono intervistati anche Ana Cañadas e Ricardo Sagarminaga, due ricercatori spagnoli che studiano i cetacei nel Mare di Alboran, e Cristina Fossi, tossicologa all’Università di Siena.

Nel video si parla anche del Santuario dei Cetacei, fortemente voluto dall’Istituto Tethys che ne ha proposto la costituzione già nel 1990. Le ricerche svolte da Tethys negli ultimi vent’anni ne evidenziano la straordinaria biodiversità, l’abbondanza di cetacei, ma anche la fragilità. Il Santuario è infatti minacciato da un’intenso traffico marittimo, da un’elevata concentrazione di sostanze tossiche nella rete trofica e dall’uso illegale di reti pelagiche derivanti.

Secondo Erich Hoyt, il Santuario dei Cetacei, così come tante altre AMP, rappresenta una sfida. L’obiettivo è infatti quello fornire una tutela effettiva (e non solo una tutela sulla carta) di tutte le specie e gli ecosistemi marini.

L'istituzione di Aree Marine Protette non è certo l’unica soluzione a tutti i problemi dei nostri mari, ma si tratta sicuramente di un ottimo punto di partenza!

Silvia Bonizzoni


Il quinto episodio di Cetacean Investigation è visibile sul sito: http://www.earthocean.tv/series/whalesmed_part5.html

Per maggiori informazioni sul Santuario dei Cetacei:

09 February 2008

The Story of Stuff

From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view.

The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.

It'll teach you something, it'll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever.

The Story of Stuff