After accepting the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Agency for nature and environment protection of Montenegro issued in July 2018 a permit for seismic surveying in the Adriatic Sea to Italian-Russian consortium created by ENI and Novatek. The seismic surveying that will cover both inshore and offshore waters of Montenegro has started on 9/10.11.2018. and could continue for 45 days! The survey is carried out by “7 WAVES” seismic survey vessel. You can see the last 24 hours track and current location of the ship on the map below.

Seismic surveying in search for oil and gas is one of the most destructive practice in the sea. Seismic airguns, usually towed in an array of 18 to 48 airguns few meters below the surface, produce strong blasts approximately every 10 seconds, 24 hours a day. Blasts impact many invertebrates, fish larvae and adult fish and many marine vertebrates. Particularly impacted are whales and dolphins. Depending on how close to the animal the blasts happen, they can seriously injure or even kill them. Worst injuries are those to dolphin’s auditory system. Dolphins and whales depend on sounds to communicate, orientate, navigate and catch pray. When their hearing becomes temporary of permanently injured, animals can not communicate, socialise and hear others, they might have problems in finding and catching pray or they can even strand. But sound in the water travels far, so constant explosions cause disturbance to animals in wider area and will surely impact animals across the entire South Adriatic.

South Adriatic is an important area for several species of dolphins like bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins. Coastal area, where seismic surveying is happening has been declared candidate Important Marine Mammal Area by the International Committee on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN). But, South Adriatic is also of particular importance for deep diving Risso’s dolphin and Cuvier’s beaked whales and has been declared an Area of Interest to become Important Marine Mammal Area.

Blue World Institute have strongly criticized the EIA for seismic survey for ignoring and neglecting the potential impact that seismic surveying could have on Cetaceans and sea turtles, particularly because no survey identifying distribution, abundance or even species presence in the surveyed area have been carried out. As dolphins and sea turtles do not know boundaries, the impact on populations of the wider area could be expected. Therefore, in order to be able to monitor the noise and the potential impact of seismic activities in Montenegro on Adriatic Cetaceans, we started a new acoustic research and we will monitor the potential unusual stranding of dolphins and sea turtles. In case you notice some unusual behavior in animals along our coast – contact us or 112 emergency telephone number.