The large number of vessels plying the Mediterranean every day endanger dolphins and threaten their survival. Awareness of this risk prompted Costa Cruises to support a Mediterranean dolphin protection project in partnership with CNR - Ismar (Italian National Research Council - Institute of Marine Sciences).
A combination of technology and knowledge of the animal world, the aim of this initiative is to reduce the risk of dolphins and porpoises being accidentally trapped in fishing gear by warning them off with acoustic deterrent devices, known as “pingers”. These dissuasive devices are attached to fishing nets and emit a safe, ultrasonic sound that keeps cetaceans away so as to reduce the risk of accidental netting. The high-pitched noise is an effective deterrent. Researchers at the CNR’s Interdisciplinary Oceanography Group for the Study of Marine Resources and the Environment have been working for some time on the use of these acoustic alarms, which have been shown to reduce the risk of small cetaceans approaching fishing vessels. In collaboration with the CNR, Costa Cruises donated pingers to 22 Italian fishing trawlers belonging to the Fishing Cooperative at the Port of Ancona.
The CNR is continuing to conduct research and monitoring with the objective of developing and refining techniques for the protection of marine life.