"Towards the first refuge for dolphins in Southern Italy" - International Workshop
"Towards the first refuge for dolphins in Southern Italy" is the theme of the International Workshop Organized by LAV, MAREVIVOin collaboration with the TETHYS Research Institute and sponsored by ENEA in Rome today: a discussion about dolphin rehabilitation and accommodation after captivity and stranding.
The Workshop was set up in order to instigate the creation of a shelter at sea for dolphins previously held in captivity and stranded on the beach. At the moment, there are no suitable places to treat, rehabilitate and accommodate dolphins when necessary. After the workshop, the next step will be the development of a feasibility study to facilitate the future creation of a shelter for dolphins in Italy. This will provide a platform for a technical discussion on the currently unsolved problems of both post-captive and beached dolphins, with the ambitious aim of submitting a project for the creation of a sea-haven for dolphins. A document on General Criteria for a Shelter for dolphins will be presented at the event.
When a dolphin is "stranded" or when dolphins in captivity are seized by the authorities or are extracted from dolphinariums that have shut their doors, it is impossible to find temporary or permanent accommodation for these marine mammals in a habitat able to satisfy at least minimally, their natural ethological needs.
- In Europe there are more than 300 bottlenose dolphins in captivity. In Italy all captive dolphins belong to this species. More than 50 countries in the world are home to dolphins
- Strandings in Italy (2012-2015): 628 total of which 34 found alive (on average 4.9/year). This data must be regarded as an underestimation since many animals in distress are reported near the coast without being rescued or registered.