Sperm whale stranded in Greece calls for urgent action

Posted on
24 December 2020

Although the cause of death has not been determined yet, it is very likely that the animal collided with a ship as its fluke was cut. Collision between ships and cetaceans - and especially sperm whales - in the Greek seas is the biggest threat to these unique creatures of the Mediterranean.

Based on scientific data, in the last 10 years more than 50% of the stranded sperm whales have been killed after collisions with large ships that transit the Hellenic Trench. This is main habitat for sperm whales in the eastern Mediterranean.

WWF Greece, in collaboration with the Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute, has submitted specific proposals for mitigation measures aimed at reducing the collisions of large ships with sperm whales. Proposals include avoiding significant areas for sperm whales and reducing ship speeds. Their implementation is estimated to contribute to up to 70% of collision reduction. Although the state authorities have recognized the need to take action and have committed to develop voluntary measures to address and reduce this threat, the process is still pending.

This last incident confirms that the risk of collisions for whales in the country is real and immediate. Therefore, WWF calls on the competent authorities and stakeholders to immediately put in place the measures they are examining, with the contribution of scientists and organizations. The future of cetaceans in our seas depends from these. 

Read here the story from WWF Greece and here about our work from the protection of whales in the Mediterranean.