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Whale watching in the Ligurian coast

Santuario dei cetacei in CorsicaLigurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary

Originally called the International Ligurian Sea Cetacean Sanctuary (Ligurian Sea Sanctuary), what is now known as the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals is a Marine Protected Area aimed at the protection of marine mammals (cetaceans). It covers an area of approximately 84,000 km², comprising the waters between Toulon (French Riviera), Capo Falcone (western Sardinia), Capo Ferro (eastern Sardinia) and Fosso Chiarone (Tuscany).

A number of studies have found that in this area of the Mediterranean Sea there is a massive concentration of cetaceans, mainly due to the abundance of food. Marine mammals are represented by twelve species: the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), second largest animal in the world (second only to the blue whale), the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus), common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), pilot whale (Globicephala melas), Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus), Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris). More rare, the minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata), the steno (Steno bredanensis), the killer whale (Orcinus orca) and Pseudorca (Pseudorca crassidens).

Physeter macrocephalus

In 1992 a census was carried out on the surface of what would become the whale sanctuary by the Tethys Research Institute, Greenpeace and the University of Barcelona, which allowed the numerical estimate of striped dolphins (32,800 copies) and fin whales (830 specimens) in the area during the summer.

A recent Greenpeace report, however, has documented a dramatic decline in the populations of cetaceans and an inadequacy of the protection measures put in place. The data collected by Greenpeace in August 2008 reported the presence of only one-fourth of the whales and dolphins found less than half of the nineties.

Unforgettable Moments

Delphinus delphis

The incomparable thrill of encounters with some of most impressive wildlife particularly in from July to October each year.

During navigation you will have a high probability of encountering one or more of these magnificent animals and take magnificent photos like these.

Balaenoptera physalus

Depending on their mood, these animals will accept - or not - to show their aquatic agility. And that day, dolphins provide once again the show.

They come without being asked. The time of a scheduled snorkeling, whale watching, meanwhile, will probe the depths. They do not leave a shadow on the surface in a vast bubbling froth to loud applause.

Unlike dolphins, whales do not allow approaching, if they are curious, they will come...

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