Two sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) sightings in Cyprus from social media

Two sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) sightings in Cyprus from social media

Robin Thomas Ernest Snape, Burak Ali Çiçek, Louis Hadjioannou, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk, Damla Beton

Centre for Ecology and Conservation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, UNITED KINGDOM
SPOT – Society for Protection of Turtles, Levent Apt 2, Ulus sokak, Gönyeli, CYPRUS
Underwater Research and Imaging Centre, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, CYPRUS
Biological Sciences Department, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, CYPRUS
Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre, Acropoleos 2, Aglangia, 2101, Nicosia, CYPRUS
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O.Box 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY

ORCID IDs: R.T.E.S. 0000-0001-9204-2985; B.A.Ç. 0000-0001-6144-1721; L.H. 0000-0001-5864-5467; A.A.Ö. 0000-0003-2281-7372; D.B.  0000-0002-6305-7667


We report on two sightings of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off eastern Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, reported through social media. The records are of relevance because there is a paucity of information for this endangered population in Cyprus waters, these being the first published direct observations. One is of a solitary male and another of a social unit. Human threats to the species such as anthropogenic noise and plastic debris are significant and growing. Long-term systematic surveys are called for, to better understand the ecology of the species in Cyprus waters, while opportunities for better reporting of deep-diving cetaceans are discussed. Marine development and resource exploitation projects must be appropriately assessed and their impacts on deep diving cetaceans mitigated.

Keywords: Cetacean, marine mammal, sperm whale, Cyprus, citizen science, fisher, Physeter macrocephalus

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Vol.26 – 2020 – No.2

Introductory pages

First record of four tintinnid species in the Lebanese marine waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea
Anthony Ouba, Marie Abboud-Abi Saab

Alien species in southern Laconia, Kythira Island and southern Messenia (Greece): new and additional records and updated record maps
Claudius Marius Pirkenseer

Exploring a possible nursery ground of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Edremit Bay (northeastern Aegean Sea, Turkey)
Hakan Kabasakal

New records of siphonophores and ctenophores in the Levant Sea
Mehmet Gokoglu, Bella S. Galil

Preliminary results of the diversity and abundance of ichthyoplankton for winter and spring seasons in the northwestern Levant coast, the eastern Mediterranean Sea
Sinan Mavruk, Elif Özgür Özbek, Şeyma Merve Kaymaz Mühling

First record of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranding on the northern Aegean Sea coast of Turkey
Arda M. Tonay, Ayhan Dede, Beril Gül, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk

The first record of Drymonema sp. from the Sea of Marmara, Turkey
İlayda Destan Öztürk

Two sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) sightings in Cyprus from social media
Robin Thomas Ernest Snape, Burak Ali Çiçek, Louis Hadjioannou, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk, Damla Beton

The first record of Drymonema sp. from the Sea of Marmara, Turkey

The first record of Drymonema sp. from the Sea of Marmara, Turkey

 İlayda Destan Öztürk

Department of Physical Oceanography and Marine Biology, Institute of Marine Sciences and Management, Istanbul University, Istanbul, TURKEY
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O.Box 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8915-6236


This study presents the first record of a jellyfish of the genus Drymonema from the Istanbul coast of the Sea of Marmara, Turkey, in February 2020. While exceedingly rare in the second half of the 20th Century in the Mediterranean Basin, a specimen of the genus Drymonema (D. dalmatinum) has been recorded in the Gulf of İzmir and Foça (Turkey), but it has never been recorded as far into the Sea of Marmara. A role of citizen science in terms of spotting such rare species is highlighted.

Keywords: Drymonema, Drymonema dalmatinum, gelatinous zooplankton, Sea of Marmara, Scyphomedusae, citizen science

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First record of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranding on the northern Aegean Sea coast of Turkey

First record of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) stranding on the northern Aegean Sea coast of Turkey

Arda M. Tonay, Ayhan Dede, Beril Gül, Ayaka Amaha Öztürk

Faculty of Aquatic Sciences, Istanbul University, Ordu Cad. No: 8, 34470, Fatih, Istanbul, TURKEY
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O. Box: 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY
Institute of Graduate Studies in Sciences, Istanbul University, Esnaf Hastanesi Binası 4. Kat, Fatih, İstanbul, TURKEY

ORCID IDs: A.M.T. 0000-0003-2718-9328; A.D. 0000-0002-7712-615X; B.G. 0000-0002-0518-0448, A.A.Ö. 0000-0003-2281-7372


A stranding of a fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) was reported for the first time from  the Turkish coast of the northern Aegean Sea. A part of skeleton; posterior part of skull, a part of left mandible, ribs with mummified tissues of an individual were found in Saros Bay near Danişment village. The stranded whale was likely to be a juvenile as the estimated body size (13.5-14 m) was lower than the mature body size of those in the northern hemisphere. Although many parts of the specimen were missing and the exact date of the stranding was unknown, the information about such strandings of rare and threatened species like the fin whale is valuable in terms of understanding the regional distribution of the species.

Key words: Fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, stranding, northern Aegean Sea, Saros Bay

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Preliminary results of the diversity and abundance of ichthyoplankton for winter and spring seasons in the northwestern Levant coast, the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Preliminary results of the diversity and abundance of ichthyoplankton for winter and spring seasons in the northwestern Levant coast, the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Sinan Mavruk, Elif Özgür Özbek, Şeyma Merve Kaymaz Mühling

Fisheries Faculty, Çukurova University, 01330, Balcalı, Adana, TURKEY
Turkish Marine Research Foundation (TUDAV), P.O. Box: 10, Beykoz, Istanbul, TURKEY

ORCID IDs: S.M. 0000-0003-1958-0634; E.Ö.Ö. 0000-0001-5699-7565; Ş.M.K.M. 0000-0002-1936-0626.

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New records of siphonophores and ctenophores in the Levant Sea

New records of siphonophores and ctenophores in the Levant Sea

 Mehmet Gokoglu, Bella S. Galil

Faculty of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries, Akdeniz University, Antalya 07059, TURKEY
Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, ISRAEL

ORCID IDs: M.G. 0000-0001-9723-8581; B.S.G. 0000-0002-9268-7211


We present new records of siphonophores and ctenophores observed in the Levant Basin, Mediterranean Sea:  Rhizophysa filiformis and Ocyropsis maculata immaculata are new records for the eastern Mediterranean, Cestum veneris for both Israel and the Turkish Levantine coast, and Leucothea multicornis for Turkish waters. A siphosomal fragment of a physonect siphonophore is identified as Apolemia sp., and a calycophorid prayomorph provisionally identified as Praya sp. The recent increase in gelatinous zooplankton sightings in the easternmost region of the Mediterranean Sea is discussed.

Keywords: Cestum veneris, Leucothea multicornis, Ocyropsis maculata immaculata, Rhizophysa filiformis, Apolemia sp., Praya sp.

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Exploring a possible nursery ground of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Edremit Bay (northeastern Aegean Sea, Turkey)

Exploring a possible nursery ground of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) in Edremit Bay (northeastern Aegean Sea, Turkey)

Hakan Kabasakal

Ichthyological Research Society, Tantavi Mah., Menteşoğlu Cad., İdil apt., 30/4, 34764 Ümraniye, İstanbul, TURKEY

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8189-9748


Between 1 July 2008 and 14 April 2018, five young-of-the-year (YOY) (TL range 85-175 cm) and six juvenile (TL range 180-300 cm) white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) were caught off the Turkish coast of the Aegean Sea. The mean length + standard deviation of YOY and juvenile white sharks were 138.1+34 cm and 206.6+46 cm, respectively. The YOY white sharks were caught only in Edremit Bay and juveniles were captured in several localities outside of the mentioned region. Based on the findings of previous studies, it is suggested that Edremit Bay may serve as a nursery ground for C. carcharias in the northern Aegean Sea and the surrounding insular marine area outside of the bay waters, may serve as a growing and feeding ground for juveniles until maturity. The white shark population in the Mediterranean may be considered at greater risk of local extirpations than previously thought, and effective management of Edremit Bay as a nursery ground is crucial regarding the overall survival of white sharks in the Mediterranean.

Keywords: Nursery ground, white shark, Carcharodon carcharias, Aegean, conservation, survival

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Alien species in southern Laconia, Kythira Island and southern Messenia (Greece): new and additional records and updated record maps

Alien species in southern Laconia, Kythira Island and southern Messenia (Greece): new and additional records and updated record maps

Claudius Marius Pirkenseer

Department of Geosciences, University of Fribourg, Chemin du musée 6, Fribourg, SWITZERLAND

ORCID ID: 0000-0003-1843-5785


Six non-indigenous species are recorded from southern Laconia, Elafonisos Island, Kythira Island and Messenia (Greece, Mediterranean Sea) along regularly observed transects, including updates to their distribution maps (status year-end 2019). The sightings of Pterois miles (Scorpaeniformes, Scorpaenidae), Diadema setosum (Diadematoida, Diadematidae), Torquigener flavimaculosus (Tetradontiformes, Tetradontidae), Abudefduf vaigiensis (Perciformes, Pomacentridae), Stephanolepis diaspros (Tetradontiformes, Monacanthidae) and Enchelycore anatina (Anguiliformes, Muraenidae) represent either first regional records or confirm the presence of the respective taxon. Observable morphological characteristics of the individuals are presented and discussed in the context of general morphological information. Distribution of the taxa is discussed in the context of the general current regime of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, a simple method for counting large numbers of fish individuals based on point counts using underwater images is presented.

Keywords: Non-indigenous species, Mediterranean Sea, Pterois miles, Torquigener flavimaculosus, Abudefduf vaigiensis, Diadema setosum

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First record of four tintinnid species in the Lebanese marine waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea

First record of four tininnid species in the Lebanese marine waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea

Anthony Ouba, Marie Abboud-Abi Saab

National Council for Scientific Research – National Center for Marine Sciences, P.O. Box 534, Batroun, LEBANON

ORCID IDs: A.O. 0000-0001-5734-6094; M.A.A.S. 0000-0002-3503-5866


The present paper reports the first record of four tintinnid species from the Lebanese marine waters, Eastern Mediterranean: Bursaopsis bursa (Cleve 1900) Kofoid and Campbell 1929, Eutintinnus haslae Taniguchi and Hada, 1981, Favella aciculifera Jörgensen, 1924 and Xystonellopsis scyphium Jörgensen, 1924, which contribute to the regional checklist of ciliates species. These species were collected at an offshore station in the depths between 150 and 600 m on October 11, 2018. Considering the studies in different regions, the newly reported species belong to mesopelagic waters, suggesting that the biogeographical distribution of tintinnids is homogenous in deep waters.

Keywords: Eastern Mediterranean, Lebanese marine waters, tintinnids, microzooplankton, Bursaopsis bursa, Eutintinnus haslae, Favellla aciculifera, Xystonellopsis scyphium

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