Choose your language:

After a 2-year pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the IWC has resumed in-person entanglement response training with the first workshop completed in Chioggia, Italy, in October.

In 2012, the IWC began a global partnership programme with the Center for Coastal Studies (Provincetown, USA), teaching safe and effective response to entangled whales.  Since then this programme has provided training for over 1,300 participants from 36 countries.

The most recent workshop in Chioggia was hosted by the Life DELFI project and involved 19 participants from various regions of Italy, as well as two participants from Croatia. Mike Meyer (South Africa), who is a member of the IWC entanglement expert panel, was able to assist as a co-trainer. Mike is taking up a new role as the IWC's primary trainer for entanglement response capacity building in Africa, part of the strengthening and expansion of the IWC entanglement response network.

The two-day workshop began with classroom sessions focused on the cetacean populations affected, the nature of the entanglement threat, and laws relevant to the region.  This was reviewed by Professor Sandro Mazzariol who also is also a founding member of the IWC's Strandings Initiative and former Chair of the Expert Panel on Strandings

The classroom sessions were followed by simulated exercises on the water, conducted over two days due to the large number of participants fitting the criteria for the practical component of the training. On the water trainees were able to practice disentanglement techniques, laying the foundations for entanglement response in Italy.  It is hoped that this workshop will be the start of further trainings and apprenticeships in Italy and Europe more widely as the IWC’s Global Whale Entanglement Response Network continues to grow. 

Funding was provided by a grant to the Life DELFI project (LIFE18 NAT/IT/000942).  Life DELFI works with the University of Padua's Department of Comparative Biomedicine and Food Science which coordinates entanglement response activity and dolphin rescue.

The trainers expressed special thanks to Guido Pietroluongo, as well as numerous other members of Life DELFI, for their efforts to make this a safe and successful training.

For more information about entanglement and the IWC’s response programme click here.