Swiss Cetacean Society

The Swiss Cetacean Society-SCS is a non-profit organisation devoted to the preservation of marine mammals in their natural habitat.
We hold the conviction that better scientific knowledge of the animals and their environment is essential to ensure efficient protection measures.

With this aim in mind, SCS distributes general information about marine mammals to the Swiss public, encourages access to specialised training and organizes the logistics at sea of scientific and environmental programmes abroad.

Over the years, SCS has acquired a solid experience in the logistics required for scientific research for the protection of marine mammals.

SCS’s work at sea:

The Swiss Cetacean Society organises worldwide campaigns at sea for data collection on cetacean populations. These scientific programmes are co-financed by the Swiss public. The collected data are then transmitted to corporate scientists who ensure their treatment and usage. This SCS activity mobilises research platforms and teams of volunteers supervised by trained naturalists.
Since 1997, SCS has carried out over 1’400 days of data collection in the Mediterranean Sea, and helped to identify and observe tens of thousands of cetaceans belonging to 8 species. In total, more than 1’400 volunteers, divided into 250 teams, provided offshore work for the benefit of the International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea (CIESM) and of many European research organizations involved in the Mediterranean sea, such as écoOcéan Institute, OceanEye, Tethys Research Institute or Tursiops Marine Research in the Balearic Islands. The purpose of these different scientific programmes is to study the whale and dolphin populations of the Ligurian Sea and of the Balearic Islands, in order to improve their protection via concrete measures.

Similarly, SCS has participated as a logistics partner of CNRS (CIRCE) in a broad international and interdisciplinary study of the Mediterranean Fin whale (the second largest whale in the world), involving a large number of researchers from various disciplines (oceanographers, ecologists, geneticists, biochemists, etc.). During this project, SCS closely worked with the Laboratory of Ecotoxicology at EPFL (Prof. Dr. Ing. J. Tarradellas) for the analysis of micropollutants. SCS is also a partner of Tethys Research Institute in Italy, which focuses on the critically endangered Mediterranean Monk seal.
Overseas, SCS has been contributing (financially and by sending volunteers) to an environmental research project on Risso’s Dolphins in the Azores (Dr José Azevedo from the Risso’s Dolphin Research Center), as well as to another study on the interaction between Spotted dolphins and Bottlenose dolphins in the Bahamas (Dr Kathleen Dudsinski & Kelly Melillo from the Dolphin Communication Project). The SCS also supported (financially and by sending volunteers) an environmental research project on Gray whales in the Canadian Pacific (Dr David Duffus, University of Victoria-Vancouver). Presently, SCS is managing a project for the protection of Green turtles of the Indian Ocean in the Comoros Islands (Ulanga Ngazidja), and another one for the survival of the Gulf of California porpoise (Vaquita) in Mexico (ProNatura Mexico).

The Swiss Cetacean Society has thus become one of the leading providers of cetacean data in the north-western Mediterranean Sea.

We are a recognised partner of the Monaco environmental institutions (CIESM, ACCOBAMS, RAMOGE). In addition, SCS is a Member of IUCN, ACCOBAMS’ Partner, member of the scientific network MEDCET and was designated Champion of the Earth (Earth Champions Foundation).

The Swiss Cetacean Society has an official state-approved status (charity), according to the Law on cantonal direct taxes of 4 July 2000, and therefore is tax-exempted.