Caterina Maria Fortuna

Caterina Maria Fortuna
Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) | ISPRA

PhD in Marine Biology

About

109
Publications
37,086
Reads
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1,961
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
1095 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
2017201820192020202120222023050100150200
Introduction
Marine conservation biologist with over 25 years of professional experience on cetaceans a marine turtles population dynamics; environmental risk assessment; international policies; implementation of conservation and management tools. She provides advice on these issues to the Italian Ministries of Ecological transition, of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (Fishery General Directorate) and of Foreign Affairs (General Directorate for Global Issues).
Additional affiliations
June 2015 - September 2018
International Whaling Commission
International Whaling Commission
Position
  • Chair
January 2009 - present
Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
Position
  • Researcher
October 2000 - December 2008
Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca scientifica e tecnologica Applicata al Mare (ICRAM)
Position
  • Researcher
Education
September 2001 - December 2006
University of St Andrews
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (109)
Article
Full-text available
1. Habitat diversity plays a significant role in shaping the genetic structure of cetacean populations. However, the processes involved in defining the genetic differentiation of these highly mobile marine mammals are still largely unknown. 2. Levels of genetic differentiation and dispersal patterns of common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus...
Article
There is a resident common bottlenose dolphin population inhabiting the Kvarnerić area of the northern Adriatic Sea, Croatia. The observed decline in population size between 1995 and 2003 led to the declaration of a part of the Kvarnerić as the Cres-Lošinj Special Marine Reserve (CLSMR) in 2006. Protection lasted 3 years, before lapsing.A boat base...
Article
Full-text available
The Natura 2000 (N2k) network is an important site-based protection tool for the protection of biodiversity in Europe. However, for highly mobile and adaptable marine species, such a tool might not be the most effective way to achieve conservation objectives, unless this includes a broader consideration of the direct threats to these species throug...
Article
Full-text available
By-catch is one of the main sources of anthropogenic mortality in marine species of conservation concern worldwide. Between 2006 and 2008, the Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMa) coordinated a monitoring programme of cetacean by-catch in Italian pelagic trawlers, funded in compliance with European Regulation 812...
Article
Full-text available
Loggerhead turtles are a globally vulnerable species of marine turtle. Broad-scale patterns of distribution and abundance can provide regional managers a tool to effectively conserve and manage this species at basin and sub-basin scales. In this study, combined aerial and shipboard line transect survey data collected between 2003 and 2018 were used...
Article
Full-text available
Fisheries bycatch is recognised as a global threat to vulnerable marine megafauna and historical data can contribute to quantify the magnitude of the impact. Here, we present a collection of three datasets generated between 2006 and 2019 by a monitoring programme on marine megafauna bycatch in one of the main Italian fisheries, the northern central...
Technical Report
Common Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops truncatus Mediterranean subpopulation has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2021. Tursiops truncatus Mediterranean subpopulation is listed as Least Concern. (Accessed on 12 January 2023, https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/16369383/215248781)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring (MEDLEM) database contains more than 3,000 records (with more than 4,000 individuals) of large elasmobranch species from 21 different countries around the Mediterranean and Black seas, observed from 1666 to 2017. The principal species included in the archive are the devil ray (1,868 individu...
Article
Full-text available
The Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring (MEDLEM) database contains over 3000 records (more than 4000 individuals) of large elasmobranch species from 20 different countries around the Mediterranean and Black seas, observed from 1666 to 2017. The main species included in the archive are the devil fish (1 813 individuals), the basking shark (...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the fact that Mediterranean loggerhead turtles are listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), they are among the most threatened marine megafauna worldwide, because of fishery-related incidental captures. The northern central Adriatic Sea is one of the most overfished basins of the Mediterran...
Poster
Full-text available
The northern central Adriatic Sea is the most heavily impacted basin in the Mediterranean Sea due to a variety of sources of anthropogenic pressure, mainly intense fishing activities, large urbanized and industrialized areas, and environmental pollution. Since 2006, an extensive monitoring programme of incidental catches of long-lived species like...
Article
Full-text available
Migration is one of several marine vertebrate traits increasingly affected by human encroachment. The Adriatic Sea is an important foraging and wintering site for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), and one of the Mediterranean regions where they are most heavily impacted, particularly by fisheries bycatch. Conservation measures concern foraging...
Article
Full-text available
Heterogeneous data collection in the marine environment has led to large gaps in our knowledge of marine species distributions. To fill these gaps, models calibrated on existing data may be used to predict species distributions in unsampled areas, given that available data are sufficiently representative. Our objective was to evaluate the feasibili...
Article
Full-text available
Elasmobranchs are among the most threatened long-lived marine species worldwide, and incidental capture is a major source of mortality. The northern central Adriatic Sea, though one of the most overfished basins of the Mediterranean Sea, supports a very valuable marine biodiversity, including elasmobranchs. This study assesses the impact of the nor...
Data
Results of the dispersion test performed with full Poisson model for all species. (DOCX)
Data
Differences in mean levels of estimated CPUE of M. mustelus (on the left) and S.acanthias (on the right) among fishing regions (1–5) during mating period and other periods. On the Y axis, each fishing regions (1–5) is represented on the left of the x, while the reproductive period effect is the number on the right and it has two levels (1 = mating...
Data
Differences in mean levels of CPUE of M. mustelus (on the left) and S.acanthias (on the right) within potential nursery areas and fishing area (#1-#5). (JPEG)
Data
Summary table reporting the total number of M. mustelus (a) and S. acanthias (b) bycaught during the monitoring programme conducted between 2006 and 2015. The total number of immature individuals, their mean length and standard deviations are listed for all five fishing regions (1–5) and calendar quarters (1Q-4Q). (DOCX)
Chapter
The Boka Kotorska Bay, as a unique geographical area, with specific ecological conditions, was always inhabited by cetaceans. There is very little recorded data on their presence in the bay. This article presents an overview of cetacean species inhabiting the southern Adriatic Sea, with a particular focus on bottlenose dolphin and fin whale, specie...
Article
Identification of the factors influencing the distribution of vulnerable species can be useful for predicting their occurrence at a local to regional scale and for identifying the most suitable measures of management and conservation. We used generalized additive models to assess the effects of spatiotemporal, environmental, and operational factors...
Conference Paper
The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), formally adopted by the European Union in July 2008, outlines 11 high level descriptors of Good Environmental Status (GES); descriptor 11 requires "monitoring the introduction of energy, including underwater noise” into the marine environment. A 3-year study monitoring sea ambient noise (SAN) (2007–20...
Poster
Full-text available
We studied bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the waters surrounding the Island of Murter (Murter Sea, Croatia) in two periods: 2002-2007 (P1), and 2013-2014 (P2), and obtained baseline data on occurrence, encounter rates and relative densities. Visual area surveys in search for dolphins were conducted using a sailing boat with the average...
Poster
Full-text available
We studied the biology and ecology of the resident population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in the area around Vis Island (~5,500 km2) between 2007 and 2014. Data was collected in the spring and summer using a 6 meter rigid inflatable boat. We obtained 327 sightings and photo‐identified 723 individuals. Abundance of the bottlenose dol...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The main aim of this report is to assess whether Europe's seas can be considered healthy, clean and undisturbed, and productive. These are three core aspects of the EU's main marine policy instrument — the Marine Strategy Framework Directive — and relate to the condition of marine ecosystems and the human drivers of ecosystem change. This assessmen...
Article
Full-text available
The drivers of population differentiation in oceanic high dispersal organisms, have been crucial for research in evolutionary biology. Adaptation to different environments is commonly invoked as a driver of differentiation in the oceans, in alternative to geographic isolation. In this study, we investigate the population structure and phylogeograph...
Research
Full-text available
The drivers of population differentiation in oceanic dispersal organisms have been crucial for research in evolutionary biology. Adaptation to different environments is commonly invoked as an alternative to geographic isolation, as a driver of differentiation in the oceans. In this study, we investigate the population structure and phylogeography o...
Article
Modeling the relationships between environmental factors and the distribution at sea of species of conservation interest can be useful in predicting their occurrence from a local to a regional scale. This information is essential for planning management and conservation initiatives. In this study, generalized additive models (GAMs) were applied to...
Article
Full-text available
Estimates of population parameters for the short-finned pilot whale, Globicephala macrorhynchus, are scarce in literature, contributing to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status of Data Deficient. In this study, photo-identification data collected over 7 yr from Madeira were used to estimate for the first time survivorship,...
Article
Levels of 24 organochlorine compounds, including toxic mono-ortho PCB congeners, were determined in the organs and tissues (blubber, kidney, lung, muscle, liver, heart) of 13 common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded between 2000 and 2005 in the northern part of the Croatian territorial waters of the Adriatic Sea. Polychlorinated bip...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is presented the analyses on the MEDLEM (Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring) database that, up to now, contains more than 2000 records and over 2700 individuals of large elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean coming from 20 different countries. The main species represented in the archive are devil rays (736 individuals), basking sharks (ab...
Article
Full-text available
The giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) is a poorly understood protected endemic species of the eastern Atlantic-Mediterranean region. However, to date there are no range-wide management actions in place. This paper provides the first overview of the summer distribution and abundance of this species and other Myliobatiformes within the Adriatic Sea ba...
Poster
The Mediterranean Large Elasmobranchs Monitoring (MEDLEM) database contains more than 2000 records (n>3000 individuals) of large elasmobranchs species from 20 different countries around the Mediterranean Sea caught or observed from 1666 to 2014. The main species represented in the archive are devil rays (736 individuals), basking sharks (682 indivi...
Article
One of the major gaps in the knowledge of sea turtle population dynamics is survival probability, in particular of juveniles, which represent the bulk of the population and whose survival has the greatest effect on population growth. One of the major global threats to sea turtles is incidental bycatch, although not all animals die in the process. T...
Article
Full-text available
Six time-depth recorders attached with suction-cups were deployed in resident and transient adult short-finned pilot whales to evaluate their daytime diving characteristics in their preferred habitat area off Madeira Island. Here, data on the proportion of time spent at the surface and at different dive phases (descent, bottom and ascent), dive dep...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Bycatch is one of the main sources of anthropogenic mortality of species of conservation concern worldwide. Between January 2011 and May 2012, ISPRA coordinated a monitoring programme of cetacean bycatch in Italian pelagic trawlers (BYCATCH III extension 2011), funded in compliance with the Regulation (EC) No.812/2004. Other 3 partners participated...
Article
Full-text available
This paper represents the first quantitative assessment of the distribution and abundance of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) inhabiting the waters around Lampedusa Island, Italy. Eleven years of photo-identification data, collected from 1996 to 2006 by three different research groups, were brought together, reviewed and analysed to fulfil...
Article
Full-text available
1. Pilot whales Globicephala spp. are known to display a hierarchical social pattern, but longitudinal data to infer population structure of short-finned pilot whales Globicephala macrorhynchus are rare. 2. Using data collected between 2003-2011 in the oceanic archipelago of Madeira, the grouping structure of short-finned pilot whales was studied u...
Article
The presence of the giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) in the Adriatic Sea was evaluated based on new records collected through field research, information from interviews with fish-erman and marine biology experts, and a review of existing data from the literature and Internet sources. Presented are 14 new records of 20 individual giant devil rays c...
Article
Full-text available
This study monitors the spatial and temporal variability of sea ambient noise (SAN) in the Cres-Losˇinj archipelago from 2007 to 2009 (north-eastern Adriatic Sea, Croatia). The archipelago is an important marine habitat for many protected species, including the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) that is considered as vulnerable to disturbance...
Article
The Cres-Lošinj archipelago represents an important nursing and feeding ground for the resident Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin) population. Scientific research on Tursiops truncatus in this area has been conducted since 1987, and the population abundance is currently estimated to be 113 individuals (95% CI = 107–121; SE = 6.967), showing a...
Article
The presence of the giant devil ray (Mobula mobular) in the Adriatic Sea was evaluated based on new records collected through field research, information from interviews with fisherman and marine biology experts, and a review of existing data from the literature and Internet sources. Presented are 14 new records of 20 individual giant devil rays co...
Article
Full-text available
By-catch during fishing operations represents one of the major threats to the survival and to the decline of endangered species (Fortuna et al., 2010a). All cetaceans and most sea turtles are protected by European legislation (Fortuna et al., 2010a). EC Regulation 812/2004 imposes that EU Member States establish a system to monitor accidental captu...
Article
Full-text available
Systematic monitoring of absolute density and abundance of cetacean species is essential to inform conservation measures. These activities are among the highest priorities for the Pelagos Sanctuary, ACCOBAMS, the Specially Protected Areas and Biodiversity Protocol (Barcelona Convention), the EU Habitat Directive and the Convention on biological div...
Article
The presence of a solitary striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) was recorded in September 2008 in the harbour of Mali Lošinj, Croatia. This species is considered to be a visitor to the Adriatic Sea, and is even more rarely seen in the northern, shallow part of this region. Whilst the animal was resident in the harbour, photo-identification and b...
Article
Full-text available
During January and February 2004, data on presence and distribution of killer whales (Orcinus orca) and other cetaceans were collected by helicopter surveys along the coastline of Terra Nova Bay and adjacent localities (western Ross Sea, Antarctica). A total of 37 sightings of killer whale, of both B and C types, were recorded as well as 17 sightin...
Technical Report
Full-text available
“Assessment of the incidental captures of protected species in the pelagic trawl (BYCATCH III)”. Bycatch is still one of the main sources of anthropogenic mortality of species of conservation concern worldwide. Within the European Community, Member States are required to monitor and mitigate it, in order to insure a truly sustainable use of the mar...
Article
The European Union (EU) is the world's largest trading bloc and the most influential supra-national organisation in the region. The EU has been the goal for many eastern European States, for Croatia accession remains a priority and underpins many of its national policies. However, entry into the EU requires certain commitments and concessions. In O...
Conference Paper
INTRODUCTION Bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, have a global distribution, with the exception of polar waters; in the Mediterranean Sea the species has been studied only in relatively small portions of the basin, wide areas remain largely unexplored and most of the research to date has been conducted in northern portions of the basin, mostly...
Article
The striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) is not a common cetacean species in the northern Adriatic Sea. Its presence is generally related to deeper offshore areas beyond the continental shelf. Despite this fact, the analysis of data collected over the past 5 years indicates unusual site fidelity of a single individual in the relatively shallow V...
Article
Full-text available
Two longitudinal studies on the ecology of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are being implemented in the Northern Adriatic Sea. One has been carried out since 1987 in the Kvarnerić, Croatia, the other since 2002 in Slovenian and adjacent waters. Standard photo-identification procedures enabled us to identify 238 and 55 individual dolphins,...
Article
Full-text available
The striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) is not a common cetacean species in the northern Adriatic Sea. Its presence is generally related to deeper offshore areas beyond the continental shelf. Despite this fact, the analysis of data collected over the past 5 years indicates unusual site fidelity of a single individual in the relatively shallow V...
Article
Full-text available
Bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus are amongst the best-known cetaceans. In the Mediterranean Sea, however, modern field studies of cetaceans did not start until the late 1980s. Bottlenose dolphins have been studied only in relatively small portions of the basin, and wide areas remain largely unexplored. This paper reviews the ecology, behaviou...
Article
Full-text available
"Since the 1970s conservation generally has become more participatory, particularly with regards to local communities. The new paradigm of inclusivity in protected areas calls for the devolution of power, the embracement of uncertainty, and the legitimization of local knowledge and values, many of the principles of successful commons management. In...
Data
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