Dolphin By-Catch Diminishing in Romanian Coastal Water through Fishermen Communities Involvement and Tourists Awareness Raising
Dolphin By-Catch Diminishing in Romanian Coastal Water through Fishermen Communities Involvement and Tourists Awareness Raising
Positioned at top of food chain in the Black Sea ecosystem, dolphins have been particularly vulnerable to a wide range of threats, both intentional and unintentional, derived from a large number of human activities carried out on land or in the sea itself. After being hunted at industrial scale between 1950's and 1980's by specialized fleets of all riparian countries, the populations of all three species, namely common bottlenose dolphin - Tursiops truncatus, short-beaked common dolphin - Delphinus delphis, and harbour porpoise - Phocoena phocoena) dropped dramatically to merely 4% of their original total number estimated at 2000.000. With similar ecological declines in many seas of oceans of the world, all three above-mentioned species were listed in the IUCN Red List and therefore included in the Black Sea Red Data Book, with an "endangered (EN)" status for Romania.

This project was designed by a team of young marine biologists, active members of Mare Nostrum, to address at its root cause, one factor which stands out from all the threats to dolphins populations within Romanian Black Sea waters (such as critical habitat loss and degradation, depletion of food resources, and disturbance from increased maritime traffic, water pollution in hot spot areas leading to high incidence of epizootics disease) - the by-catch, or accidental catch in fisheries operations.

These benefits consist of, among others: practical know-how and financial support available for fishermen pertaining to best available techniques in order to prevent by-catch and reduce it to a negligible size, and highly-profiled public awareness component, aimed at both general information and consumer awareness, that in turn can lead to a reaction from the economic system behavior.

The Project Goal was to decrease by-catch in fishing nets within Romanian coastal waters as the main step to attain sustainable dolphin conservation in the Black Sea.

Main objectives of the project were:
1. Support of a small pilot-group of local fishermen in using Acousting Deterrent Devices (ADD) to prevent by-catch.
2. Raise awareness for locals and tourists during summer season regarding participation to dolphin conservation activities.

Main project activities were:
1. Voluntary Network for stranded dolphin monitoring
2. Tissue sampling for lab analyses to provide death causes and statistic data on dolphin population
3. Up date for Dolphin Data Base regarding dolphin sightings
4. ADD attachement to fishing nets in order to prevent by-catch
5. „Dolphin Week” public raising awareness campain
6. „Dolphin Infocenter and Shop”- fundraising for the ongoing project
7. Design a resource web page for the Black Sea dolphins
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Project Snapshot

ONG Mare Nostrum
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 34,913.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 15,438.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 5,925.00
Project Number:
Satisfactorily Completed

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Project Characteristics and Results
Notable Community Participation
Both the local communities along Romanian Black Sea beach and the tourists were involved in information and public awareness campaigns and in practical activities aimed to contribute to the "Dolphins save"(over 41000 persons)
Inovative Financial Mechanisms
Dolphin shops will be established commercializing small objects, manufactured by the locals, the resulted income being used for dolphins save (acquisition of ADD etc.)
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Number of globally significant species protected by project 3
Innovative financial mechanisms put in place through SGP project 1

Grantee Contact

Ms Cristina Mihai
Phone: + 40 241 612422, + 40 231 407432, + 40 241 545048
Fax: + 40 241 612422


Str. George Enescu Nr 32, Judetul Constanta
Constanta , Europe and the CIS , 900692

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Tania Mihu
+4 021 201 7827
+4 021 201 7828
Ms. Andreea Ihos
+4 021 201 7827
+4 021 201 7828


UN House, 48A Primaverii Blvd., sector 1