Turkish scientists joined their Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Romanian and Monacan colleagues for a project about preserving the dolphin population in the Black Sea. Researchers from those countries fly over the Black Sea to observe dolphins under a European Union-funded project.
Scientists from Karadeniz Technical University of Turkey and researchers from a Turkish maritime research foundation represent Turkey in the project. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA) about the project, professor Ertuğ Düzgüneş of Karadeniz Technical University said they aimed to acquire scientific data regarding the number of dolphins, the distribution of their population and the pressures from illegal fishing on the animals. He said it is the first time such a large-scale project has been undertaken in decades for dolphins in Black Sea.
"The project has a goal of protecting marine mammals, counting and monitoring them and it also delves into the noise [pollution] issue. There isn't any standard in Europe in terms of protecting dolphins from noise pollution. As part of the project, Bulgaria, for instance, detects sources of underwater noise pollution and classifies them," he said. Noise from ships is believed to be among factors that drive to dolphins to the shores and cause them to be stranded. Düzgüneş said they would also detect the number of dolphins entangled in fishing nets or accidentally killed by fishermen.
"I believe we will have more details, especially about the causes of mass dolphin deaths that recently made headlines and develop a protection strategy," he added.