[MARMAM] paper on ships strikes

s p simo.pani at inwind.it
Thu Oct 5 02:15:34 PDT 2006

Dear Marmam list,

the following paper has recently been published on Marine Pollution Bulletin,

Panigada, S., Pesante, G., Zanardelli, M., Capoulade, F., Gannier, 
A., Weinrich, M.T. 2006. Mediterranean fin whales at risk from fatal 
ship strikes. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 52:1287-1298.


This paper reviews and analyzes ship collision records for the 
relatively isolated population of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea 
from 1972 to 2001. Out of 287 carcasses, 46 individuals (16.0%) were 
certainly killed by boats. The minimum mean annual fatal collision 
rate increased from 1 to 1.7 whales/year from the 1970s to the 1990s. 
Fatal strike events (82.2%) were reported in or adjacent to the 
Pelagos Sanctuary, characterized by high levels of traffic and whale 
concentrations. Among 383 photo-identified whales, 9 (2.4%) had marks 
that were attributed to a ship impact. The reported rates are 
unusually high for baleen whales. The high likelihood of unreported 
fatal strikes combined with other anthropogenic threats suggests an 
urgent need for a comprehensive, basin-wide conservation strategy, 
including ship strike mitigation requirements, like real-time 
monitoring of whale presence and distribution to re-locate ferry 
routes to areas of lower cetacean density, and reducing ship speed in 
high cetacean density areas.

Keywords: Fin whale; Marine protected areas; Ship collision; 
Mortality rates; Anthropogenic threats; Mediterranean sea

The article is now available online via the following DOI link:

Best regards,


Simone Panigada, Ph.D.
panigada at inwind.it

Tethys Research Institute
Viale G.B. Gadio 2, 20121 Milano, Italy
tel. +39 0272001947 / 0272013943
fax +39 0286995011
tethys at tethys.org
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