Network for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Sea Turtles in the Adriatic

Priority and Measure
Measure 2.2 - Natural and cultural resource management and prevention of natural and technological risks
Priority 2 - Natural and cultural resources and risk prevention
EUSAIR Pillars
Environmental quality, blue growth
Type of Project
Carole Maignan
Interviewee role
Project manager
City of Venice
+39 0412747826
Project website
Budget in euros


Role Name City Country Contact Person Email / website
Lead partner City Of Venice Venice Italy Paola Ravenna
Partner 1 University of Padua - Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science Padua Italy Sandro Mazzariol
Partner 2 City of Pescara Pescara Italy Piera Antonioli
Partner 3 Cetacea Foundation Riccione Italy Valeria Angelini
Partner 4 Italian National Institute for Environmental protection and Research Chioggia Italy Otello Giovanardi
Partner 5 Croatian agency for the environment and nature Zagreb Croatia Ana Štrbenac
Partner 6 Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation Veli Lošinj Croatia Peter Mackelworth
Partner 7 Herpetofauna Albanian Society Tirana Albania Vilma Piroli
Partner 8 Association for Protection of Aquatic Wildlife of Albania Tirana Albania Sajmir Beqiraj
Partner 9 Institute for Marine Biology Kotor Montenegro Mirko Djurovic
Partner 10 University of Primorska, Science and Research Centre of Koper Koper Slovenia Bojan Lazar
Partner 11 WWF Italy Trieste Italy Marco Costantini
Partner 12 Marine educational centre Pula Pula Croatia Milena Micic

Project Description


Project description

NETCET aimed at to developing common strategies for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles (C&STs) in the Adriatic. Specific objectives were to enhance cooperation and strengthen networking among all institutions involved in C&STs conservation, to establish coordinated monitoring activities and to understand the main threats posed by human activities, to strengthen institutional and technical capacity for conservation, to increase public awareness and draft/update national action plans.

What has been done during the project in order to achieve its main goal(s)?

The 13 NETCET partners from 5 different countries have been working side by side in order to become a compact coherent team and achieve the creation of networks of cities and organisations for the exchange of scientific expertise and sharing of new knowledge. In order to continue to strengthen technical and institutional capacities the project organised courses, training and monitoring surveys. Partners continuously collected data in the Adriatic regions and built emergency and rehabilitation centres for ST. Awareness raising activities were also implemented. NETCET partners put their knowledge together to produce common strategies for C&STs addressing the main threats that challenge Adriatic populations. Each country organised consultation meetings with the relevant national, regional and local authorities in order to update or contribute to a National Action Plan for the conservation of C&STs.


Which are the project main results/impacts? 

Result/Impact 1

– greater institutional capacity for the conservation of C&ST: the NETCET consortium created a network of 30 cities interested to exchange experiences and a scientific and technical network of 30 organisations for the exchange of scientific expertise. Within the framework of a training programme to improve and standardise veterinary care, 2 reference textbooks, standard protocols and a proposal for an Adriatic Emergency Task force for mass stranding and environmental disasters were produced.

Result/Impact 2

shared standardized scientific knowledge and effective collaboration between the organisations involved in C&STs conservation in the Adriatic: 2 databases available to the public collecting data on C&STs were created. The partners involved have set up a coordinated and standardised stranding monitoring programme which flowed into a report on the scale, causes of mortality and injuries of the Adriatic C&STs populations focusing on the impact of human activities.

Result/Impact 3

improved knowledge of Adriatic C&ST populations, hot-spots and major threats: specific monitoring surveys took place: one aerial survey in the Adriatic permitted to establish baseline data on distribution, abundance and hot-spots on C&STs while boat based photo ID surveys on cetaceans were organised in all Adriatic countries in order to inform on the presence and numbers of cetaceans in the hot-spots identified by the aerial survey. To complement these monitoring activities, turtles were tagged and have provided temporal and spatial data used to produce distribution and GIS based maps.

Result/Impact 4

increased technical capacity for sea turtle recovery in the Adriatic and effective treatment of stranded/injured sea turtles in high level structures and increased information available for citizens through the rescue centres. All new NETCET centres have been tested and inaugurated with relevant interest from the media.

Result/Impact 5

increased coastal communities’ awareness of the presence and conservation needs of these species, widespread adoption by fishermen of correct handling procedures and sense of ownership towards and pride in the natural heritage of the Adriatic: 131 STs release events along the coast, 210 lessons in elementary schools using a common educational kit, over 5500 posters affixed in 96 ports of different sizes and functions and 79 fishermen meetings implemented.

Result/Impact 6

improved conservation and management of C&ST and their habitats in the Adriatic through effective regional cooperation: the partners put their knowledge together to be able to draft two common strategies for C&STs addressing the main threats that challenge Adriatic populations and to update or contribute to a National Action Plans for the conservation of these species.