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Malaga port is base for first whale and dolphin census in Mediterranean

'The Song of the Whale', docked in Malaga.
'The Song of the Whale', docked in Malaga. / ÑITO SALAS
  • One hundred people from twenty different countries are taking part in the survey, which requires the use of five ships and eight aircraft

Over June and July, the port in Malaga is serving as one of the bases for the first large-scale cetacean survey in the Mediterranean. One hundred people from 20 countries will participate and their research will require five boats and eight aircraft's.

The initiative, presented last Friday by the port authority is coordinated by Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans (ACCOBAMS) and will use visual and auditory methods to track the sea life. The budget is set at almost five million euros.

The survey's principal boat, 'The Song of the Whale' set sail from Muelle 2 last Sunday to commence research.

There are normally nine species of cetaceans living the Mediterranean, but their total population is not known. According to Antonio Toya of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, three dolphin species are considered to be endangered, so population and distribution figures are essential in order to establish protective measures. The study will also allow conservationists to know whether, as suspected, the orca has set up a permanent population in the Alboran Sea.