Vivamar is currently working hard to establish a Dolphin Education Center (DEC) that will serve as a home base to reach out to locals and tourists to raise awareness about preserving the Adriatic’s bottlenose dolphins. With the DEC, we can be permanently based allowing us to broaden our target audience and elaborate on the ongoing research.
Be bold together with us and directly influence the future of the last marine mammals – the local population of common bottlenose dolphin.
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Istria is one of the most popular tourist regions in the northern Mediterranean / Adriatic area; however, there is no platform to disseminate scientifically-based data regarding the impact of anthropogenic pressures on the dolphins. To facilitate this measure, Vivamar’s goal is to create a public and scientifically supported DEC. We work hard day in and day out to create research and action plans to help mitigate some of the negative side effects of the nautical and fishing industries. Ultimately, our goal is to work harmoniously with the industries so that the Croatian, Slovenian, and Italian economies can thrive but also maintain balance in the ecosystems. If we can set up our Dolphin Education Center (we need your help!), we will be able to post up right at the source of some of the biggest issues to work directly with the public, fishermen, and local authorities to ensure that every person is doing what they can to respect the marine life and improve the condition of our sea while minimizing negative impacts. The more we can reach out to people and raise awareness about the importance of a healthy sea, the better we can ensure that our dolphins are able to sustain healthy populations over the next generations. The Dolphin Education Center is an absolutely critical place for all of this to happen.
We’ve got an ambitious plan for our Dolphin Education Center and have categorized it into three important chunks:
1) Raise Awareness
Since its establishment in 2002, Vivamar has been dedicated to community outreach: we collaborate with local schools and youth associations by organizing presentations about dolphins and hosting summer events such as Dolphin Day.
We will host educational outreach programs, broaden our collaborations to well-established Youth Associations from Slovenia and Croatia for informative lectures and exhibitions, increase global participation in UN World Oceans Day, continue supporting Japan Dolphin Day, and engage with the local community using the DEC as a space for galleries and exhibits about the dolphin population and other marine vertebrates.
2) Provide Education for Ecologically Sound Economic Growth
Vivamar’s research and education activities have shown that a more effective outreach location is needed to regulate and start tackling the negative anthropogenic factors that affect the already threatened marine mammals in this otherwise beautiful area.
In the DEC, we will provide certified courses for the dolphin watching industry to educate stakeholders on respecting guidelines and the importance of the local dolphin population on the Adriatic ecosystem. This will ensure that sustainable and environmentally safe tourism is economically incentivized, offering the best possible outcome for dolphins and sustainable local community development.
We will educate nautical tourists on dolphin behavior, ecology, and tips for safe sightings, and give recommendations for certified dolphin watching excursions.
Vivamar’s integrative team collaborates with students, volunteers, and universities around the world. The research focuses on the relationships, group sizes, compositions and population dynamics of the Istrian dolphin population. We also collaborate on other important projects regarding large marine vertebrates including sharks and sea turtles. We obtain scientific data about unregulated nautical tourism as well as the fishing industry to report the potential negative influence on the dolphin community during encounters.
We will create a research haven for students and volunteers in the DEC, continue to expand collaborations with universities and European marine projects, and investigate interactions between dolphins and fisheries to assess problems associated with declined dolphin feeding areas and damaged netting gear.