Network and initiatives

Our collaborations with local stakeholders, authorities and institutions

Marine wildlife protection is at the heart of our work and require the development of networks and collaborations with the local stakeholders and authorities. This is why we are establishing long-term partnerships aimed at filling the knowledge gaps and taking actions towards the conservation of the marine environment.

Long term monitoring strategy on marine mammals and reptiles in Maltese waters

The EcoMarine’s research team is having the valuable opportunity to develop and run a pilot study for the implementation of a long-term monitoring strategy for marine mammals and reptiles in Maltese waters.

This project is financed through EU funds under the Maritime and Fisheries Operational Program 2014-2020, and consists of carrying out surveys to collect data about the presence of bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins, and loggerhead turtles on behalf of the ERA – Environment and Resources Authority.

The research includes the development of a protocol for the monitoring of the four species, field work for the data collection, the analysis of the data collected and the designation of a long term strategy for the monitoring of the species under the requirements of regional and international policies.

Field work, which was carried out in summer, included boat-based and aerial surveys, making use  of sophisticated and specific equipment, such as hydrophone arrays, drones and satellite tracking. More than 30 volunteers took part in the observation onboard our research vessel and many hours were spent sailing in search for the animals. 

The data collected were then finally analysed and the report was submitted. The long term monitoring strategy is based on the success of the outcomes of the pilot study and will be used to respond to the requirements of different policies for the protection and conservation of the marine mammals and reptiles that inhabit our waters.

Interactions of cetaceans with small-scale fisheries

Dolphins are often blamed to be responsible of reduced catches for fisheries, damages on fishing gears and disturbing fishing activities. However, they are more often victims and knowledge on this topic is still very limited.

Since October 2021, EcoMarine is collaborating with the DFA – Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to shed light on the “Interactions between Cetaceans and Small-Scale Fisheries in the Maltese Islands”, which is part of an extended study on the Mediterranean region supported by the MAVA Foundation.

Based on a coordinated approach with common methodology and database, this project is aimed at qualifying and quantifying the factors that drive the interactions between dolphins and fisheries.

For this reason we are carrying out vessel-based surveys around Malta, Gozo and Comino to investigate the occurrence of cetaceans in relation to fishing activities with the purpose to identify mitigation measures that could address the cetacean bycatch as well as depredation incidents.


All this work and these important new opportunities couldn’t be possible without the support of our partners and supporters.

Therefore, we would like to thank Malta Charters for supplying us with a reliable research vessel for our surveys. More than 700 hours were spent sailing last summer onboard a 45 ft sailing boat, the MoonMist, fully equipped and suitable for carrying out the intense research. 

A special thank you finally goes to Global Mindset Development for helping EcoMarine Malta develop our sustainable tourism business and promote environmental education projects in schools, the local community and to tourists.


We are profoundly grateful for the support from Birdlife Malta, one of the most active NGOs for the protection of wildlife in Malta. This organisation is tirelessly protecting birds by fighting against illegal activities in the territory, rescuing injured animals and educating people.


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