To shed light on the migration pattern of Mediterranean fin whales, the General Direction for Land and Sea Protection of the Italian Ministry of the Environment, in the framework of the implementation of the ACCOBAMS Agreement has funded a specific project to the International Whaling Commission. A team of scientists from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the Tethys Research Institute have been trying since 2013 to fit satellite tags on whales known to briefly appear in the waters surrounding the small Italian island of Lampedusa, in the Strait of Sicily, towards the end of winter (February-March). The research is being conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the University of Siena, and the Pelagie Islands Marine Protected Area.
The project provides support to the implementation by Italy of Directive 2008/56/EC (Marine Strategy Framework Directive, MSFD) for monitoring activities addressed to the achievement of Good Environmental Status of the Italian seas. It was commissioned to obtain robust data on movements and possible migration routes of fin whales and on their habitats in the waters surrounding the island of Lampedusa.