Black Sea Cetaceans Photo ID sightings

Mare Nostrum

Dataset credit

Marian Paiu, Mare Nostrum NGO


Primary contact Marian Paiu Mare Nostrum NGO
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University



Mare Nostrum is a non-governmental organization, acting in the environmental area from 1993, with professional researchers working in the north-western Black Sea. Developed projects on cetaceans since 2001. Campaigns at sea are dedicated to data collection (marine animals, maritime traffic, marine debris) and the research methods used are mainly line transect and photo-identification.

The present database was established as an instrument for the Black Sea Photo-Identification research, and tries to include the studies from the entire basin. For the moment it includes 3 areas (Romania - Mare Nostrum NGO, Bulgaria - Green Balkans NGO and Ukraine - ACCOBAMS training, lead by Dr. Alexei Birkun) but the objective is to reach all 6 riparian countries.


Mare Nostrum NGO contributes to the growing knowledge on cetacean aiming for their protection. We work on subjects like ecology, distribution, and monitoring the impact of human activities (bycatch, ship strike, disturbance by leisure vessels).

We are working with several marine protected area managers at a local, national or international level (i.e., Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, Romanian Ministry of the Environment, National Institute of Marine Research and Development "Grigore Antipa", National Agency of Aquaculture and Fisheries, ACCOBAMS etc.).

Mare Nostrum NGO is also ACCOBAMS Partner since 2013.

Supplemental information

[2015-02-10] The 2014 data and images were added.

Also you can consult the database of standings, bycatches and sightings from 2010 to 2013 which have been included in OBIS-SEAMAP.
The Photo-ID activity is on going for 2014.

Additional references:

Paiu Romulus-Marian et all, 2014. Photo album - Identifying cetaceans, 24 pp. Program: Monitoring and Conservation of Black Sea Dolphins.

Marian Paiu, Eugen Anton 2013. Noninvasive methods in research and conservation of Black Sea cetaceans at the Romanian coast. Ecology and protection of ecosystems Symposium. Poster

Paiu Romulus-Marian, E. Anton, 2013, Summary of the project Photo-identification of dolphins from the Romanian Black Sea costal waters, poster

Marian Paiu, Mihaela Candea 2012. Improving the conservation status of the marine biodiversity from the Romanian coastal zone, particularly for dolphins – CONSDELFIROM. Final Report of the project 2009-2012 Constanta, Romania. POS Mediu/Mare Nostrum NGO.


Marian Paiu. 2013. Photo-identification of dolphins from the Romanian Black Sea coastal waters. Final Report of the project 2012/2013 Constanta, Romania. ACCOBAMS / Mare Nostrum NGO. 1-92.
Alexei Birkun, Jr. 2010. Intensive training on cetacean photo-identification in the Black Sea. Final Report 2010. Mirnyi, Crimea, Ukraine. ACCOBAMS/Black Sea Council for Marine Mammals. 1-52.
Dimitar Popov. 2012. Pilot Cetacean photo-ID activities along Southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast. Bulphins Catalogue 2012. ACCOBAMS/Green Balkans NGO.



This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downloadable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission.

Attributes in dataset

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
obs_datetimeDate and time of the observation (local time)
sighting_noSighting Number
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
sp_obsSpecies name
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number b ITIS added by OBIS-SEMAP
obs_countGroup size (always 1)
site_idSite ID where the photo of the animal was taken
research_areaResearch area
evaluated_throughPeriod of the Photo-ID project
activeIndicator of whether the project is active or not
animal_iddefinition not provided
catalog_idCatalog ID of the animal
original_iddefinition not provided
image_pathPath to the image file
match_idMatch ID assigned by OBIS-SEAMAP
strandedIndicator of whether the animal was stranded
resourcesInternal use added by OBIS-SEAMAP
geomgeometry added by OBIS-SEAMAP
seriesDolphin ID
Marine mammals162
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species0
Non spatial0
Non species0
Date, Begin2010-09-17
Date, End2014-08-08
Temporal prec.111111
Latitude42.11 - 45.35
Longitude27.68 - 32.87
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
Data typePhoto ID
Traveled (km)0
Contr. through
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (Minimum)
Shared with None
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics