Sperm Whales are rare in the Mediterranean Sea. They are classified as Endangered. In the eastern part of the Mediterranean there are just around 200 animals left. OceanCare has joined forces with other groups to intensify efforts against the risk that this largest toothed whale is vanishing from the Mediterranean Sea.
In addition to the development of the whale localization system – SAvE Whales/SaveMoby – to alert ship captains about sperm whale presence, OceanCare has joined forces with three organisations to intensify efforts preventing a collision between ships and endangered sperm whales.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute, WWF Greece and OceanCare work together to protect sperm whales, in particular in the Hellenic Trench in Greek waters from its main threat – being hit by large vessels.
The Hellenic Trench off the southwestern coast of Greece is a unique underwater canyon and a core habitat for deep-diving marine mammals, including sperm whales and beaked whales. It is also the only place in the Mediterranean where female sperm whales with their calves are known to feed, breed and nurse.
However, the Hellenic Trench is also a high-risk ship strike area. Busy shipping routes currently overlap with areas where high numbers of sperm whales are likely to be present throughout the year. Already small changes in routing away from these areas would greatly reduce the risk of collisions. The NGO coalition is therefore advocating at both politics and companies to shift vessel traffic away from sperm whale habitats as much as possible.