Dear MARMAM followers,
I am happy to announce that the First Annual Report of Montenegro Dolphin 
Project is ready to download under the title of " Bottlenose dolphins and 
Striped dolphins: Species distribution, behavioural patterns, encounter rates, 
residency patterns and hotspots in Montenegro, South Adriatic".
The full paper is available for download at:
Thank you for having the time to read it!

SummaryThe Montenegro Dolphin Project ran the first dedicated annual survey 
effort within the coastal and offshore waters of Montenegro between 2016 and 
2017, with plans to keep the survey effort going until 2020. The results 
presented here contribute to fill the gaps in knowledge and provide baseline 
information on the cetaceans of Montenegro. We urge management authorities to 
implement necessary in-field conservation measures for the protection of 
cetaceans that must lead to the protection of the whole marine ecosystem. 
During the current study, regular sightings of bottlenose dolphins and striped 
dolphins were recorded throughout the year. The encounter rate of bottlenose 
dolphins was estimated at 4 groups (9 individuals) per 100 km2 for the entire 
country. Additionally, photo identification study of bottlenose dolphins 
revealed multi-year sightings of individuals with varying degrees of residency 
patterns, ranging from transient to regular individuals. Several individuals 
were noted to travel from the southern to the northern edge of Montenegro, and 
vice versa, with a maximum re-sighting distance of 80 km. Sub-adult presence in 
the groups was also frequently recorded. Furthermore, Montenegro’s southern and 
northern waters, revealed high incidence of key behaviours: foraging, 
socialising and resting. While the coastal waters of Montenegro hold important 
habitats both for bottlenose and striped dolphins, offshore waters need to be 
monitored more frequently for the delineation of likely important cetacean 
habitat. It is important to note that the effect of tourism and marine traffic 
both on the dolphin sightings and behaviour was reported, yet no significant 
pressure effect was found here. Nevertheless, human pressure on the marine 
ecosystem should not be ignored. Currently there are over 100 gas and oil 
extraction platforms in the whole basin, with many more on the way, especially 
around the Southern Basin. Additionally, coastal tourism has become one of the 
most significant sources of income in the last decades. Moreover, pressure from 
unregulated fishery activities and maritime transportation, both on local and 
international scales, has increased over the same timescale. According to the 
Convention for Biological Diversity, Montenegro lies in the Ecologically or 
Biologically Significant Areas (EBSA). Yet, Montenegro holds no Marine 
Protected Areas in its waters and proposed SPAMI sites (Specially Protected 
Areas of Mediterranean Importance) doesn't cover the territorial waters of 
Montenegro. The majority of Adriatic countries have legislative frameworks to 
regulate anthropogenic activities with potential impact on cetaceans, including 
Montenegro. The gap in baseline data, in addition to public ignorance towards 
nature conservation, forms one of the strongest obstacles to effective and 
sustainable conservation measures. The results of the current study aim to 
build a solid foundation for marine conservation in Montenegro via the of 
bridging research and public education, while emphasising the strong need for 
collaboration between research institutes both on the local and international 
Regards,Dr. Aylin Akkaya Bas
Scientific DirectorDeniz Memelileri Araştırma Derneği (DMAD)Marine Mammals 
Research Association+90 5337739867skype:

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