• Conservation

  • Research

  • Public awareness

  • Education

  • Support to international conservation

A non-profit research organisation supporting marine conservation through science and public awareness with a focus on large marine vertebrates

30 years of experience

Since 1986 we are committed to preserve marine environment through the provision of scientific knowledge

Ongoing activities

Besides the two long-term Tethys projects, the Cetacean Sanctuary Research and the Ionian Dolphin Project, conducted since the early 90’s in the Ligurian Sea and Western Greece, respectively, our research personnel is involved in conservation-oriented initiatives covering a wide range of subjects. Some on-going activities include

Joint press release – bycatch of 9 giant devil rays

A new unfortunate incident took place this weekend in Port De Peche Kelibia, Tunisia, where nine Giant devil rays (Mobula mobular) were landed. The rays were captured as bycatch by a purse seine and consequently were landed and sold. In 2006 the Mediterranean population of the Giant Devil Rays were assessed as Endangered on the IUCN’s Red List of threatened species; listed on a number of International Agreements, and in Annex II of the Barcelona Convention SPA/BD Protocol, Furthermore, the parties to the Barcelona Convention, Tunisia included, agreed that this species cannot be retained on board, trans-shipped, landed, transferred, stored, sold, displayed or offered for sale, and must be released unharmed and alive, to the extent possible, pursuant to Recommendation GFCM/36/2012/3*.

April 8th, 2019

IMMA the Indian Ocean

Thirty new Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) have been approved by the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force, which includes experts from Tethys, in one of the most biodiverse areas of the world ocean – the North East Indian Ocean and South East Asian Seas Region, as a result of an expert workshop held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia in March 2018.
The new IMMAs cover habitats off Bangladesh with one of the world’s healthiest populations of Irrawaddy dolphins to the Babuyan Marine Corridor in northern Philippines for breeding humpback whales, to eastern Indonesia and the Coral Triangle region for blue, Bryde’s and Omura’s whales, as well as spinner, pantropical and other tropical dolphins.

Cetacei FAI Attenzione!

A public awareness and citizen science project was launched in summer 2018, mainly sponsored by FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano and carried out with the collaboration of the italian Coast Guard. Aim of the project is to collect sightings of cetaceans in italian waters, reported by the public, namely owners of pleasure boats, whale watching and other organisations. Special attention is given to sightings of Risso’s dolphins, which apparently have moved from Tethys’ study area. Information is displayed in harbours and marinas along the italian coasts, from Liguria to Sicily, also presenting a code of conduct for boats approaching whales or dolphins.

Watching whales and dolphins in their natural environment

Whales and dolphins are being studied in their natural environment; Tethys runs two long-term projects which are open to the participation of the public: one in Italy, in the north western part of the Mediterranean, and one in Greece, in the Eastern Ionian Sea.

For Christmas time you can get adavntage of early booking discounts or offer special gifts to your friends

Marine Ecomed – Erasmus+ Project

The MARINE_ECOMED project has been created through the support of the Erasmus+ EU Program with the objective to build an international strategic partnership to enhance research and education in the subject of sustainable marine management and communication strategies in this field, within the Mediterranean unique natural and socio-economic context. It is a 3 years project developed by a trans-sectoral international network of institutions such as Universities and Non-Governmental Organizations (among which it appears Tethys), which are geographically based on the European coast over an area that goes from the East (Greece) to the West (Spain) of the Mediterranean.

The main outputs of the project will be the implementation of an Intensive Study Program (ISP) for university students and the creation of new educational materials. The ISP will focus in the multidisciplinary subject of planning and management of marine and coastal areas. It will involve students from different academic institutions and with different backgrounds that will be trained through innovative integrated approaches and will collaborate in an international workshop to apply and integrate their knowledge in an interactive manner working on a real case study. The new educational materials include the Open Education Resources in Planning and management of marine and coastal areas and Ocean literacy, the MOOC on Planning and management of marine and coastal areas, the Handbook on Marine education and communication in the Mediterranean. These materials will be produced through the collaboration of the experts of the partnership and made freely available for download from the MARINE_ECOMED website.

Want to be part of our field work team?

Meet whales and dolphins not just by whale watching, but by helping researchers concerned with marine conservation; Tethys’ ongoing long term projects have been conceived as responsible tourism/citizen science projects: non-specialists are a valuable help for researchers in the field and their support is essential.

A specific web site is dedicated to Tethys’ research expeditions open to non-specialised participants


Help us protecting our marine environment

Meet whales and dolphins not just by whale watching, but by helping researchers concerned with marine conservation; Tethys’ ongoing long term projects have been conceived as responsible tourism/citizen science projects: non-specialists are a valuable help for researchers in the field and their support is essential.

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Dolphins and whales in the Mediterranean are increasingly in danger, exposed to threats ranging from habitat degradation, scarcity of prey caused by overfishing to noise. Contribute to their conservation by supporting the Tethys Research Institute and its work.

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Befriend a sperm whale from the Pelagos Sanctuary or donate its friendship to someone you love. With this symbolic gift you will support the research and conservation of Mediterranean cetaceans through the Tethys Research Institute.

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For those who declare taxes in Italy a simple way to contribute is to donate the 5×1000 from your tax return. Sign and indicate the tax code in the area of your your income tax return (730, CUD).

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Tethys contributes to OBIS SEA MAP

Tethys’ dataset of cetacean sightings has been included in OBIS SEAMAP, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations; this is a spatially-referenced online database, which was developed by Duke University. His purpose is to aggregate observation data from across the globe about marine mammals, seabirds and sea-turtles.

Tethys’ dataset comprises the work carried out between 1986 and 2012 during shipboard surveys, conducted mainly in the Mediterranean Sea, and especially in the Corso-Ligurian-Provencal basin, in the Ionian Sea and in the Adriatic Sea. Extra Mediterranean Tethys’ cetaceans sightings, collected in the Atlantic Ocean(Canary Islands, Morocco coasts) and in the Caribbean Sea, has been also provided.

Our partnerships