The Pelagos Sanctuary

The Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals. This sanctuary came about in 1999 as a result of a collaboration between France (Cote d’Azur and Corsica), Monaco and Italy (Liguria, Tuscany and Northern Sardinia). The area was included in the list of special protected zones under the Barcelona Convention and, as such, recognised by all countries of the Mediterranean area. These waters cover some 100,000 km² and are distinguished by particular environmental characteristics which provide nutrition to the various species of marine mammals that live there.

The marine reserve area boasts such Cetacean species as the fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus; sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus; striped dolphin, Stenella coeruleoalba; bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus; short-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus delphis; Risso’s dolphin, Grampus griseus; long-finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas; Cuvier’s beaked whale, Ziphius cavirostris; and at times also the minke whale, Balaenoptera acutorostrata; humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae; orcas, Orcinus orca; false killer whales, Pseudorca crassidens and the rough-toothed dolphin, Steno bredanensis. 

Considering the amount of cetaceans in the Ligurian Sea, safeguarding their habitat is of fundamental importance and the adjacent land and sea areas are considered protected areas where boats, fishing and tourism activities that may damage or disturb the mammals are regulated by law.


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