Montenegro Dolphin Research

Where research meets public outreach for a holistic conservation approach

Since its inception in September 2016, the DMAD and MDR team working in Montenegro have completed over 500 land surveys and over 100 boat surveys.

Who We Are

The Adriatic Sea is one of the richest cetacean habitats in the Mediterranean Sea, however, the same cetaceans, which are classified either as at risk or data deficient, are subjected to various anthropogenic threats such as habitat degradation, prey depletion, by-catch, vessel traffic and pollution. 
Montenegrin waters have historically received a lack of year-round cetacean survey efforts, unlike countries in the northern Adriatic Sea. In 2016, DMAD – Marine Mammals Research Association initiated a conservation effort called Montenegro Dolphin Research in order to highlight the necessity of transboundary cetacean conservation between Montenegro and its neighbouring countries. 
The aim of the Montenegro Dolphin Research is to notify the public of the benefit of environmental cooperation and its extremely important role in conservation. MDR undertakes a year-round survey effort in the coastal waters of Montenegro to collect baseline knowledge on distribution patterns and encounter rates of the bottlenose and striped dolphins. The research also targets photo identification in order to define the residency patterns in Montenegro. Finally, MDR aims to encourage community development through the active involvement of a wide range of stakeholders from fishermen to early career researchers and volunteers.

Our Interns and Volunteers

An important part of the project is the education of interns. By the end of 2019 DMAD had trained more than 100 interns from more than 27 different countries. All of whom took important knowledge back to their home countries to increase the effectiveness of conservation worldwide. Interested in interning with DMAD? Find out more here or send an e-mail to [email protected]

Public Outreach

Research on its own is never enough to facilitate effective conservation and so DMAD organises public outreach events including school visits, beach cleans and community days to raise awareness of the threats that dolphins are facing in Montenegrin waters and show that small changes from individuals can make a big difference! DMAD comes in to schools and gets involved in bringing education to life, from arts & crafts and games in kindergartens, right the way to complex university lectures. We also conduct beach cleans which actively encourage community participation, building community strength and a collective ecological conscience. DMAD also produces a number of community outreach activities to increase understanding about our marine life in Montenegro. We target these to both adults and kids but find some times the adults enjoy the crafts and the games just as much as the kids! 

Have you got an educational establishment or community group that would like to hear from us? Send us an e-mail at: [email protected] and we’ll get back to you.
“The Montenegro Dolphin Research Association was an amazing experience with a great team that taught me a lot of techniques to be a competent marine biologist. From waking up at 5am sharp to go do surveys to doing beach cleanings with the locals in Montenegro, I really enjoyed my time there and especially the staff that was helping us and at the same time making our stay feel like home!”
Jordi Toskan, MSc student at IMBRSea
“I would highly recommend DMAD for anyone wishing to gain experience within the marine conservation field. I enjoyed my time here and was involved in research, data collection, community outreach and education projects. Along with useful training on relevant software’s, there are plenty of opportunities to be creative through your own ideas which feel valued here by a great team.”
Jodie Smith, UK – Gap year to gain experience