Blue World Institute is a partner of the LIFE DELFI project, conducted in collaboration with nine partners from Italy and coordinated by the National Research Council (CNR) from Italy. The project was proposed out of a need to address the growing negative impact of interactions between dolphins and fisheries. These are an apparent problem both for fishermen and their economic gain as well as for dolphins, due to bycatch and the related mortality, in addition to other consequences for the wellbeing of individuals and populations.



The main aim of the project is the reduction of negative interactions of dolphins and fishing activities in the Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea while limiting the associated economic loss to fishermen. This will be achieved by implementing innovative technical solutions related to fishing gear in several areas located in Italy and Croatia, by collecting new data that will allow to create effective conservation and management measures, by educating stakeholders and by the development of additional economic activities with a lesser impact on these animals.

In particular, the implementation of project actions will lead to outcomes that include:

  • The reduction of dolphin-fishing interaction using a new generation of acoustic and visual deterrents and the wider use of alternative fishing method
  • Reduction of intentional dolphin killings and of the economic loss for the fishermen as a result of damaged fish and lower catch due to dolphin depredation as well as the damage caused by dolphins to fishing gear
  • The production and dissemination of a new generation of acoustic and visual deterrents as well as the dissemination of alternative fishing gear having a lesser negative impact on dolphins (pots), involving at least 150 vessels and 350 fishermen
  • Training courses for dolphin watching operators providing this service to tourists and the public
  • Providing information, advice and technical assistance to the fishermen, to support them in securing funding for their operation, to educate them on the use of deterrent systems and help them transition from fishing activities to dolphin watching as their primary business.


  • A Dolphin-friendly Code of conduct will be prepared, adopted and disseminated to allow for being in the presence of these animals with the least possible impact
  • Dolphin Rescue Teams will be established and educated to provide first aid and help to sick and injured dolphins
  • Advocacy activities will be undertaken to promote the introduction of compensation measures for fishermen affected by dolphin depredation on a regional level
  • The scientific data collected during concrete conservation actions will be provided to public administration with the aim of fostering the designation of new Natura 2000 marine sites
  • A citizen science app will be produced and released to the public that will allow anyone to submit their sightings of live, injured or bycaught dolphins and other marine mammals
  • A communication campaign aimed at raising public awareness named “A dolphin as a friend” will be launched


Project Partners

Coordinating beneficiary: Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – Istituto per le Risorse Biologiche e le Biotecnologie Marine (Italy)

Comune di Favignana – Ente gestore dell’Area Marina Protetta (AMP) Isole Egadi (Italy)

Marine Protected Area of Punta Campanella (Italy)

Consorzio di Gestione Area Marina Protetta Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo (Italy)

Area Marina Protetta “Torre del Cerrano” Co.Ges. (Italy)

Blue World Institute for Marine Research and Conservation (Croatia)

Filicudi WildLife Conservation (Italy)

Legambiente Onlus (Italy)

University of Padua – Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science (Italy)

Università degli Studi di Siena – Dipartimento di Scienze fisiche, della terra e dell’ambiente (Italy)


Duration and Budget

  • Project duration: 1.1.2020. – 31.12.2024.
  • Total project budget: 867.500,00 € (2.920.500,00 € EU cofinancing)


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