Network for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Sea .. (NETCET)
Network for the Conservation of Cetaceans and Sea Turtles in the Adriatic
Start date: Sep 30, 2012,
End date: Sep 29, 2015
The main objective of the NETCET project is to develop common strategies for the conservation of cetaceans and sea turtles (C&ST) in the Adriatic through regional cooperation. Due to the migratory nature of these species cross-border collaboration and shared management responsibility between Adriatic states is crucial in order to plan effective long-term conservation strategies. The Adriatic sea hosts several species of cetaceans and sea turtles protected according to Directive 92/43/EEC and is considered a key foraging and development area for young sea turtles. C&ST are vulnerable to interactions with human activities especially related to fisheries and coastal tourism (impacts with recreational boats). The fishing pressure from Italian, Slovenian, Croatian, Montenegro and Albanian fleets causes incidental captures with high associated mortality caused by fishing devices and entanglement in fishing gear. The following gaps have been identified in conservation and management issues of C&ST in the region: 1) Lack of technical and institutional capacity in many areas. 2) Incomplete scientific knowledge related to many important aspects of C&ST biology, behaviour and status. Although many institutions collect data and record sightings/strandings, data gathered on an occasional basis is not sufficient. Networking and cooperation among institutions is therefore important. 3) Lack of awareness of threats that may affect long-term survival of C&ST populations. Most direct threats to C&ST are unintentional and could be significantly reduced through better information. 4) Live stranded and injured animals have a good chance of survival if immediate and proper treatment is provided. Strengthening rescue centre coverage along the Adriatic coast will contribute to the inter-regional conservation effort. 5) Lack of conservation strategies: common policies and management strategies at transnational level are crucial for conservation. The NETCET project, in conformity with the IPA Adriatic CBC Programme priority 2, measure 2.2, Natural and Cultural Resources management and prevention of natural and technological risks addresses these challenges and foresees developing strategies for the conservation of C&ST in the Adriatic. The core elements of the NETCET methodology are: 1) Activities propaedeutic to the development of common strategies and plans. These activities have been identified as the creation of technical/scientific and City networks and a common database (WP3), a joint standardized monitoring programme allowing to improve knowledge and collect key baseline data (WP4). The collected data feeds into the database (WP3) while WP4 outputs allow the development of the Common Strategies and National Action Plans (WP7). 2) Activities which ensure capacity for development and implementation of successful conservation strategies. These are a multi-target exchange of expertise programme (WP3), an increase in technical capacity for ST recovery through the strengthening of turtle rescue centre coverage along coasts (WP5) and a set of awareness raising activities targeting fishermen, boat drivers, school children and general public (WP6). 3) These activities are carried out in a coordinated framework which ensures effective project management and dissemination (WP1& WP2). The partnership of 13 partners and 4 associates combines actors with significant experience working on C&ST conservation with actors key to delivering strategies and plans relevant to policy and to their implementation post project. The project is led by the City of Venice which brings considerable experience in project management along with the desire to define a role for Adriatic cities in the conservation of these species. The ultimate and long-term objective of the Common Conservation Strategies and National Action Plans is to mitigate the negative effects of essential economic activities and halt the decline in C&ST populations in the Adriatic.
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