New Documentary exploring Marine Protected Areas

earthOCEAN post the final program of the five-part online documentary series - "Whales of the Mediterranean Sea" entitled "Sanctuaries of the Sea - Are Marine Protected Areas for Cetaceans a Solution?". What does it mean to save whales, dolphins and porpoises if their habitat is left unprotected? Marine Protected Areas, also known as MPAs or Marine Sanctuaries, are the equivalent of national parks and protected areas on land. Erich Hoyt is an author and senior research fellow for WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. He feels that creating MPAs for cetaceans can have a far-reaching impact in conserving other species, and whole ecosystems.

Marine scientists Ana Canadas and Ric Sagarminaga work in the Alboran Sea off the coast of southern Spain. They are identifying critical habitats for migratory species while working with various local groups whose livelihoods depend on a healthy sea. However, can establishing MPAs protect cetaceans from all human pressures? We interview Cristina Fossi, a marine toxicologist from the University of Siena, Italy, whose work highlights the extreme levels of pollution in Mediterranean cetaceans.

Our final program of the series, "Whales of the Mediterranean Sea", explores whether whales, dolphins and porpoises can be the catalyst in protecting marine biodiversity in this ancient sea. "Whales of the Mediterranean Sea" ventures into deep seas and coastal waters with a range of international scientists. It examines the ecology of cetaceans, while exploring the causes of increasing pressures on their populations and habitats. The greatest challenge of all is raising awareness, as most people do not even know there are whales in the Mediterranean Sea.

Whale Trackers is a series of documentary programs combining the collective wisdom of scientists and conservationists with a remarkable range of expertise and perspectives. It uncovers the latest science techniques being used to study whales, dolphins and porpoises, while inspiring and encouraging young people to want to learn more about the oceans. It examines the threats that individual species face, and focuses on the people who are making a difference to preserve the animals, by connecting their fate to the health of their respective habitats.