A large Marine Sanctuary for cetaceans in the Corso-Ligurian Basin has been declared by the Governments of Italy, France and Monaco. Other smaller marine protected areas exist or have been proposed throughout the Mediterranean Sea (Bearzi et al. 2003). In 1999, the Spanish Ministry for the Environment included the Common Dolphin in its National Endangered Species Act as "vulnerable". The following year, a program was initiated to identify important areas for the conservation of cetaceans in the Spanish Mediterranean with the aim of implementing the European Union?s "Habitats" Directive, the Barcelona Convention and the Bonn Convention (Convention on Migratory Species, or CMS) through the creation of marine protected areas. Based on the presence of a relict group of Common Dolphins, the eastern Ionian area around the island of Kalamos has been included by the Greek Ministry of the Environment in the Natura 2000 network ("Site of Community Importance") under the 9243 EEC "Habitats" Directive. While these types of designations may benefit Common Dolphins at least indirectly, measures to provide direct benefits, e.g., area-, season-, or fishery-specific reductions in fishing effort, curtailment of inputs of particular pollutants, etc., remain to be identified and implemented. The Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS 2002) considers the Mediterranean Common Dolphin as an endangered population. It is expected that efforts to increase understanding of ongoing threats, monitor status, and provide needed protective measures on behalf of the dolphins and their habitat will be organized and implemented through ACCOBAMS.
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