Oceanomare Delphis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea.

We collect data on the behavioral ecology and acoustics of cetaceans; our archive contains information on their movements in the environment, group size and composition, photo-identification, behavior, and acoustics.

We publish the results of our work through conference proceedings and specialized national and international journals and produce technical and scientific reports commissioned by international associations.

Oceanomare Delphis accompanies scientific research in the field, priority objectives such as education and conservation, aggregates organizations, groups, and individuals linked by a common interest in cetaceans and the marine environment, to influence institutions to take concrete actions against the extinction and destruction of natural ecosystems caused by humans.


Since 2015, Oceanomare Delphis has been collaborating with CIBRA(Interdisciplinary Center for Bioacoustics and Environmental Research) to develop marine mammal monitoring and mitigation plans, at-sea sampling, and reporting concerning submitted plans.


Since 2016, Oceanomare Delphis has been a partner in ACCOBAMS, the Agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the contiguous Atlantic area.

Our Story

The history of our association begins in 1991. After participating in the first surveys in the Italian seas conducted by the Tethys Institute in collaboration with the sailing association I Venturieri, Barbara Mussi, owner of the schooner Barbarian, decided to make the island of Ischia her base to undertake a study of cetaceans in the islands of the Pontine and Campanian archipelagos. The area had never been the subject of systematic research on marine mammals but had been noted for its particular biodiversity.

The research began with data collection involving ferries, cargo ships, fishing boats, and Coast Guard and Finance patrol boats. The data were patchy but confirmed the winter presence of cetaceans in the study area.

At the same time, under the oversight of the skipper Angelo Miragliuolo, at-sea monitoring began using Barbarian, equipped since 1995 with a hydrophone system.

The first years of observations established the rich variety of cetaceans in the study area, confirming the presence of seven different species. In 1997, the study of the local population of the rare common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) began in the waters of Ischia.

In December 1999, the sinking of Barbarian, due to a violent storm that destroyed the entire harbor, caused an abrupt halt to the project, which also suffered the loss of data and instrumentation on board. In March 2000, Angelo Miragliuolo and Barbara Mussi were able to purchase a new sailboat, Jean Gab, to renovate and equip it for research.

The following year, thanks to the strong motivation of Katia Massaro, who embraced the project's cause, Delphis Mediterranean Dolphin Conservation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cetacean conservation through research and outreach, was founded.

Delphis has supported the study over the years and has succeeded in spreading the mission throughout the territory through the creation of a Cetacean Museum and educational events such as the annual Dolphin Festival.

Oceanomare Delphis Onlus

Sharing visions, actions and people involved, Delphis MDC and Oceanomare decided in 2010 to join forces and create a new, larger organization. Thus was born Oceanomare-Delphis Onlus (ODO) a nonprofit organization that works to study and protect cetaceans and the ecosystems in which they live, through actions of knowledge, conservation and information.

We believe it is necessary to bring together ideas, skills, and experience to achieve common goals to meet the present and future challenges affecting cetacean knowledge and conservation.