Dr. Joan Gonzalvo studies and conserves whales, dolphins, and porpoises.
Why the dolphins of the Mediterranean?
Says Dr. Gonzalvo: “By studying the local ecosystem and the role played by the dolphins, we don’t merely contribute to the advance of science. We also fuel science-based conservation action aimed toward a respectful management of the local resources, for the benefit of both dolphins and humans.”
This research has had conservation impact on a regional and national scale. The results have been submitted to international bodies such as the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS), recommending that a marine protected area be created in the Amvrakikos Gulf to improve the current level of environmental management and ensure long-term dolphin conservation.
Collaboration with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS), OceanCare, and other international conservation organizations has triggered a number of actions intended to increase dolphin protection and aid marine conservation in this and other parts of Greece. Such actions have included a call for action and detailed management proposals to stop overfishing in coastal Ionian waters, which was signed by 13 European organizations.