Whales & Dolphins Are Officially Present Around The Maltese Coast


The Environment and Resources Authority has conducted scientific surveys in marine waters on cetaceans, aka whales and dolphins, which have been confirmed to be present sporadically around the Maltese Islands!



At the time of writing, there are further monitoring studies underway. The results were published as part of Malta’s Assessment of Marine Waters.


Malta's bottlenose dolphin population estimated at 79


Research has shown the four whale species and four dolphin species were reported from Malta in the recent surveys (Fin Whale; Sperm Whale; Cuvier’s Beaked Whale; Long-Finned Pilot Whale; Risso’s Dolphin; Common Dolphin; Striped Dolphin; and the Bottlenose Dolphin).



Most of these species are sighted at lower instances, probably due to their presence at deeper depths and their migratory nature. These also include the sperm whale, one of the largest animals that ever roamed the planet. The rare occurrence of some of these species is why it was fascinating for those who managed to see some whales off the Maltese coasts,’ an ERA statement read.


Whale and dolphin populations in Maltese waters still strong, study finds


The Common Dolphin, the Striped Dolphin and the Bottlenose Dolphin are the most frequently recorded all year round in our waters and commonly encountered by boaters. In assessing these three species, in terms by-catch, abundance and distribution across the Maltese waters, the populations of the three dolphins were found to be stable.’



However, longer-term monitoring is still required, despite data indicating that the populations of the key species are stable. ‘This will also include the establishment and pilot implementation of a long-term strategy for marine mammals in Maltese Waters, with funds attained through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).’, the statement added.


The Sperm Whale - Eco Marine Malta


The Authority is also supporting ACCOBAMS (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area) on addressing underwater noise and marine litter as two major pressures on cetaceans. Malta is even expected to host the ACCOBAMS 8th Meeting of the Parties (MOP8) in 2022.



Miraine Rizzo, an official of the Authority, said that ‘Cetaceans are not only beautiful marine animals which people like to encounter, but they are also an important part of our marine ecosystems.’


‘It is within this context that we understand the need to step up the protection of such animals in Maltese marine waters and ERA is committed to continue to improve knowledge on their needs and to address human impact on such species’, she remarked.

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