E-mail discussion lists on cetaceans

A non-moderated e-mail list for people interested in cetaceans, managed by the European Cetacean Society.

A moderated e-mail list for people interested in cetaceans, managed by the US-based Society for Marine Mammalogy.


Marine biodiversity databases

A global information system with all you ever wanted to know about fishes. FishBase is a relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and many more.

The long-term goal of this project is to create and maintain a FishBase-like information system for all aquatic living organisms (marine and freshwater). For each species included, it makes available the biological information necessary to conduct biodiversity and ecosystem studies, taking advantage of lists of species already available on paper and electronically, and using the scientific names as ‘hook’ to organize biodiversity information.

Standardized distribution maps for currently 7,000+ species of fishes, marine mammals and invertebrates. Please note that maps for Mediterranean cetaceans often represent suitable or potential habitat rather than actual distribution.

A database-driven web site on all living cephalopods (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus).It does not seem to work on some browsers.


Databases, portals, bibliographies, search tools

The European Centre for Information on Marine Science and Technology is an internal portal for sharing information and creating synergy in Europe.

National Sea Grant Library
The National Sea Grant Library (NSGL) is the official Sea Grant archive and home to a comprehensive collection of Sea Grant–funded documents. This collection covers a wide variety of subjects, such as oceanography, marine education, aquaculture, fisheries, aquatic nuisance species, coastal hazards, seafood safety, limnology, coastal zone management, marine recreation, and law.

Ocean Conserve
Ocean Conserve is an ocean conservation portal and internet search tool that provides access to reviewed ocean conservation news and information.

Ocean Portal
Ocean Portal is a high-level directory of ocean data and information related web sites. Its objective is to help scientists and other ocean experts in locating such data and information.

Sea Around Us Project
The Sea Around Us Project is devoted to studying the impact of fisheries on the world's marine ecosystems. To achieve this, project staff have used a Geographic Information System to map global fisheries catches from 1950 to the present, under explicit consideration of coral reefs, seamounts, estuaries and other critical habitats of fish, marine invertebrates, marine mammals and other components of marine biodiversity. The data presented, which are all freely available, are meant to support studies of global fisheries trends and the development of sustainable, ecosystem-based fisheries policies.

The Environment Directory
The Environment Directory is one of the largest exclusively environmental organization directories on the web and includes sites from over 100 countries.

The Watery World of Whales
A site with miscellaneus information about whales and whale conservation.


Cetacean sound archives

Macaulay Library
The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's largest natural sound and video archive of animal behavior. A large percentage of the recordings can be searched and played online. The Library also provides services for consultation, custom compilations, and professionally edited versions of its assets.

A database for research in automatic recognition of marine animal calls.

CIBRA: Underwater bioacoustics and marine mammals
The Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research, founded in 1988, is endowed with a Laboratory of Marine Bioacoustics and Acoustical Oceanography. Its activities focus on research projects on the acoustic communication in animals, the development of equipment and protocols for the monitoring and censusing with passive acoustics, the development of advanced sound analysis methods based on the digital processing of signals, the establishment of a Digital Sound Library of Mediterranean Cetaceans as well as the technical support to other institutions involved in bioacoustical research.


Photos and Videos

Marine Photobank
The Marine Photobank is a leading visual resource that has galvanized people from all over the planet to collect, share and download marine photos, images and graphics that shed light on how humans have affected life in the ocean. These images are available at no cost for non-commercial purposes as well as for media use.

A collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species, including marine mammals.

earthOcean produces videos and interactive content for online distribution. It represents an excellent online resource for students, teachers and the general public.

Marine Mammal Radiology
The website is designed to disseminate information regarding marine mammal diagnostic imaging studies including the types of studies available and examples of normal anatomy and disease processes from different marine mammal species.

More information about video materials on Mediterranean coastal dolphins can be found in the Videos section of this web site.


Selected sites containing relevant information and/or multiple resources

Society for Marine Mammalogy
The Society for Marine Mammalogy, founded in 1981, aims to: 1) evaluate and promote the educational, scientific and managerial advancement of marine mammal science, 2) gather and disseminate to members of the Society, the public and public and private institutions, scientific, technical and management information through publications and meetings; and 3) provide scientific information, as required, on matters related to the conservation and management of marine mammal resources.

European Cetacean Society
The European Cetacean Society (ECS, established in 1987) aims to promote and co-ordinate the scientific study and conservation of cetaceans, and to gather and disseminate information to members and the general public.

UBC Fisheries Centre
The University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre promotes multidisciplinary study of aquatic ecosystems and broad-based collaboration with maritime communities, government, NGOs and other partners.

Blue Ocean Institute
Blue Ocean Institute works to inspire a closer relationship with the sea through science, art, and literature. It develops conservation solutions that are compassionate to people as well as to ocean wildlife, and shares reliable information that enlightens personal choices, instills hope, and helps restore living abundance in the ocean.

European Environment Agency
The European Environment Agency is the EU body dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment. It is a main information source for those involved in developing, adopting, implementing and evaluating environmental policy, and also the general public.

Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an international campaigning organisation committed to investigating and exposing environmental crime.

FAO Fisheries
FAO's Major Programme on Fisheries aims to promote sustainable development of responsible fisheries and contribute to food security. To implement this Major Programme, the Fisheries Department focuses its activities, through programmes in Fishery Resources, Fishery Policy, Fishery Industries and Fishery Information.

NOAA Fisheries
The US NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to the stewardship of living marine resources through science-based conservation and management, and the promotion of healthy ecosystems.

How Fish are Caught or Farmed
Commercial fisheries use a variety of fishing methods and fishing gear to catch the fish we eat. Some are environmentally friendly; others aren't. This site by the Monterey Bay Aquarium reviews fishing methods and features drawings and simple animations.

UNEP’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre
The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the biodiversity assessment and policy implementation arm of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the world's foremost intergovernmental environmental organization. The centre has been in operation since 1989, combining scientific research with practical policy advice. UNEP-WCMC provides objective, scientifically rigorous products and services to help decision makers recognize the value of biodiversity and apply this knowledge to all that they do. Its core business is managing data about ecosystems and biodiversity, interpreting and analysing that data to provide assessments and policy analysis, and making the results available to international decision makers and businesses.

World Resources Institute
The World Resources Institute is an environmental think tank that goes beyond research to create practical ways to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives. The mission is to move human society to live in ways that protect Earth’s environment for current and future generations.



Marine Animal News
An extensive site in a Blog format, including news on topics like marine animals, marine biology, endangered species, coastal environment and more.

Tethys Blog
News, opinions, stories and other information centered around the activities by the Tethys Research Institute and the conservation of Mediterranean cetaceans. In English or Italian.



An interactive educational web site which focuses on whales and marine research. WhaleNet is sponsored by Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts with initial support from the National Science Foundation.

North American Association for Environmental Education
NAAEE is a network of professionals, students, and volunteers working in the field of environmental education throughout North America and in over 55 countries around the world. Since 1971, the Association has promoted environmental education and supported the work of environmental educators.

World Ocean Observatory
The World Ocean Observatory is dedicated to information, education and public discourse about the ocean defined as an integrated global social system. Its intent is to communicate the full spectrum of ocean issues - climate, fresh water, food, energy, trade, transportation, public health, finance, governance, recreation and culture.

Don't Feed Wild Dolphins
Video and other information to discourage people from feeding and inappropriately interacting with wild dolphins.

Tips to Students
The Student Affairs Committee of the Society for Conservation Biology has assembled resources to assist students in their educational journeys. The web site includes tips on how to make good poster and oral presentations at professional conferences, and on how to write abstracts.



OceanLaw is a leading provider of research and consultancy services concerning international law of the sea and ocean policy, and a leading developer of information and knowledge resources in these fields. With particular specialisms in international fisheries law and protection of the marine environment and marine biodiversity, OceanLaw's expertise extends to all areas of ocean law and policy including seabed issues, navigation, shipping, maritime boundary issues, marine scientific research and the settlement of disputes. OceanLaw is also the publisher of a number of major resources in the field of international fisheries law.

Wildlife Committee, International Law Association
Aims to contribute to the conservation of endangered wildlife species by helping to strengthen international wildlife treaty regimes, regional accords and national legislation that implements international treaty regimes. The group's efforts focus on scholarship and public education efforts.


Cetacean taxonomy, species accounts and endangered species

Cetaceans of the World
A database of modern cetacean taxonomy edited by William Perrin.

Cetacean taxonomy and common names (Tethys Research Institute)
Classification of cetaceans based on recent taxonomic revisions and new discoveries, with common names in English and Italian.

Cetacean taxonomy and common names (Cetacea.de)
A site with common names in German.

CMS review on small cetaceans: distribution, behaviour, migration and threats
Compiled by Boris M. Culik for the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
The International Union for Conservation of Nature classification of the status of living species.

National Red Lists
This site provides a focal point for the global conservation community to share biodiversity data, Conservation Actions Plans and Red Listing experiences, and in doing so, work together towards the effective conservation of species worldwide.

World Register of Marine Species
WoRMS provides an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms, including information on synonymy. While highest priority goes to valid names, other names in use are included so that this register can serve as a guide to interpret taxonomic literature. The content of WoRMS is controlled by taxonomic experts.


Marine Protected Areas

Sponsored by WDCS, this site is dedicated to the conservation of the critical habitats of whales, dolphins and porpoises in national waters and on the high seas of the world ocean. You will find explanations of key marine protected area (MPA) terms such as critical habitat and ecosystem-based management; excerpts from Erich Hoyt’s book Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises; an interactive directory and poster-map of the more than 500 MPAs and sanctuaries for cetaceans, both proposed and existing; news about MPAs and interviews with cetacean experts, and a detailed resource section with links and downloads.

MPA global - A database of the world’s Marine Protected Areas
This project falls within the Sea Around Us Project, an activity initiated and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, and hosted by the University of British Columbia's Fisheries Centre. It is the result of a formal collaboration between the Sea Around Us Project, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), United Nations Environment Programme - World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) and the World Commission on Protected Areas (IUCN-WCPA). This project has two main goals: firstly, to develop a more robust global marine protected area (MPA) baseline than currently exists; and secondly, to develop alternative scenarios of global MPA networks using spatial modelling techniques.

The Database of Experts in Marine Protected Areas in the Mediterranean
A tool developed by WWF Mediterranean and the MEDPAN network for managers of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Mediterranean Sea.


Additional tools can be found in the Science section.