We started the SCARS Project in the waters of the Catalan submarine canyons and the Mediterranean Cetacean Migration Corridor
The Project “SCARS: expanding the knowledge of the pilot whale (Grampus griseus) in the waters of the Levantine-Balearic demarcation” begins, with the support of the Fundación Biodiversidad, the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge. The aim is to study the distribution, abundance, and movements of the Risso’s dolphin population in the Levantine-Balearic demarcation and specifically in the submarine canyons off the coast of Catalonia.
The Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus) is a species for which very little information is currently available at the Mediterranean level. There is so much lack of information that the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) considers the Mediterranean subpopulation of this species in the conservation category of “Data Deficient”. Despite the little information available, in recent years there has been a decrease in its population in the Northwest Mediterranean (Gulf of León and the Ligurian Sea) highlighting the need to expand the knowledge of abundance, distribution and trend of the Mediterranean subpopulation of the Risso’s dolphin to understand its status and prioritize management actions to work on the conservation of this species.
SUBMON has been working for the conservation of this species since 2009, through the implementation of marine stewardship actions in the Maresme canyons.
In order to continue with the work of promoting the conservation of the Risso’s dolphin, the SCARS Project arises, which aims to increase the information available on the Mediterranean subpopulation of the pilot whale, and specifically in the Levantine-Balearic marine demarcation. The results of the project are expected to provide new data and help to determine and evaluate in the next review the conservation status of this species at the national level (Spanish Catalog of Threatened Species), as well as at the international level for the IUCN.
The SUBMON team will embark on board the Montagu catamaran during the spring months to sample the waters of the underwater canyons of Maresme, Palamós and Garraf, areas that include protected marine areas of the Natura 2000 Network and part of the Mediterranean Cetacean Migration Corridor.
The SCARS Project will not only focus on the Risso’s dolphin but will also collect information on all species of cetaceans found in the area, providing new data on the presence of cetaceans in the Catalan submarine canyons and the Cetacean Migration Corridor that will help also in the future management of the area.