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Marine Mammals on the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast "Records and Vulnerability"
International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology
Volume 4, Issue 1, March 2019, Pages: 8-16
Received: Dec. 24, 2018; Accepted: Jan. 31, 2019; Published: Mar. 14, 2019
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Mahmoud Mahrous Sayed Farrag, Zoology Department, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University (Assiut Branch), Assiut, Egypt
Hamdy Omar Ahmed, Aquaculture Division, National Institute of Oceanography & Fisheries, Alexandria, Egypt
Mohamed Mohamed Mohamed TouTou, Aquaculture Division, National Institute of Oceanography & Fisheries, Alexandria, Egypt
Mohamed Mahmoud Eissawi, Northern Protectorates, EEAA, Ministry of Environment, Alexandria, Egypt
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This work documents strandings and sightings of vulnerable marine mammals on the Egyptian Coast of the Mediterranean Sea, with an emphasis on 2013 to 2018 as well as previous non documented strandings observed by other persons. Marine mammal cases were described and identified to six species: the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus Linnaeus, 1758), the sperm whale (Physeter microcephalus), Gervais’ beaked whale Mesoplodon europaeus (Gervais, 1855), the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncates), the rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis) that which was stranded on the Gamasa coast and was not completely confirmed. The sixth species was California sea lion (Zalophus californianus Lesson, 1828) which was reported for the first time. Moreover, the monk seal (Monachus monachus) was also reported here but has not been observed by the authors; this observation increases the reported species on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt into seven species. The first five species are cetaceans including a baleen whale (Mysticeti) for first whale and toothed species (Odontoceti) for the remaining four species, while the last two ones belong to Pinnipeds (sea lion and monk seal). Most of the observed cases were strandings, while the sea lion was sighted alive. The sea lion is not endemic for Mediterranean sea and its presence may be an accidental or may escape from aquarium. There were also few other records of dead delphinid carcasses that were in a highly decomposed state and could not be identified. In conclusion, this work is important issue in term of documenting marine mammals in the Egyptian Mediterranean water and indicates that the coast has increasingly become a visiting area for many marine mammals, with a concomitant increase in stranding's. These observations reflect their vulnerability due to anthropogenic activities such as fishing operations, shipping, and seismic activities. Moreover, the Egyptian coast has shallower and wider continental shelf in the Nile Delta region which may increase the probability of marine mammals' visitors stranding's, particularly a mong species that inhabit deep water. The repeated sightings of these species may be due to climatic changes that affect their migration and mobility from one place to another. Stakeholders should pay more attention to marine mammals in Egypt through increased awareness and the continuous monitoring, documentation and mapping of recorded strandings to further suggest measures on how to protect these important and vulnerable species.
Marine Mammals, Vulnerability, Anthropogenic and Climatic Changes, Mediterranean Sea, Egypt
To cite this article
Mahmoud Mahrous Sayed Farrag, Hamdy Omar Ahmed, Mohamed Mohamed Mohamed TouTou, Mohamed Mahmoud Eissawi, Marine Mammals on the Egyptian Mediterranean Coast "Records and Vulnerability", International Journal of Ecotoxicology and Ecobiology. Vol. 4, No. 1, 2019, pp. 8-16. doi: 10.11648/j.ijee.20190401.12
Copyright © 2019 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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