in situ, research, while necessary, can be a significant source of disturbance to marine mammals if carried out without the proper precautions.
Experts agree that some techniques are liable to disturb marine mammals, particularly marking and tracking, biopsy samples, capturing animals and experimenting with active acoustic techniques.
Other scientific techniques are much less harmful – this is the case with photo identification (if a minimum distance is observed).


Biopsy carried out by biologists. The skin sample will be analyzed for different studies such as genetic testing.






Monitoring of cetacean movements using an ARGOS transmitter (satellite-based system obtaining location information and other data) and GPS.

For the Sanctuary, these forms of research must be subject to specific general rules. Such rules will include, among others, the principle of declaration and prior authorization, a comprehensive code of conduct (behavior at sea, ready access to results, approval for the activity within the Sanctuary, fundraising) as well as the terms and conditions that apply to the granting of authorization and labels. In this regard, the Sanctuary area may benefit, if necessary, from more stringent measures than those specified under the ACCOBAMS Agreement. The Authorities that manage the Sanctuary could also support the decision made by the Contracting Parties should the dispensations set out in the ACCOBAMS Agreement be granted.

The recommendations relating to research are as follows:

  • all research projects in the Sanctuary must be accompanied by a declaration (in France and the Principality of Monaco) or a dispensation (Italy), 
  • the project leaders and researchers involved must apply a strict code of conduct and commit to minimizing the potential impact of interactions with cetaceans, 
  • researchers must agree to making their results known to a large scientific and technical audience via the appropriate means, to avoid redundancy of in-situ research and to enhance knowledge in the best possible manner.


Disturbance, harassment, stress.