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Panasonic TOUGHBOOK helps ACCOBAMS project study whales & dolphins in the Mediterranean and Black Seas


Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices used by scientists to map and study cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas

Bracknell, UK. 28th April 2020 – An important conservation project has used Panasonic TOUGHBOOK devices to survey the impact of climate change and human activities at sea on the population of whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

Panasonic TOUGHBOOK 33 2-in-1 detachable helps ACCOBAMS project
Panasonic TOUGHBOOK 33 2-in-1 detachable helps ACCOBAMS project

The Agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) was created in 2001, and has been signed by 24 countries[1] as of today, with the aim of protecting and studying the marine populations. The ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative (ASI) assesses the conditions of the aquatic mammal population at a regional level, throughout the area of the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

The survey began during the summer of 2018 and 2019, and is now moving towards its final phase with the conservation effort involving 20 countries and more than 30 organisations. Over 100 scientific observers have participated in the project, working at sea and in the sky with 8 dedicated aircraft and 6 boats. In approximately four combined months of fieldwork they have covered more than 92,000 km, moving on specific tracks, selected using statistical software.

Data collection took place partly through direct observation, and partly using dedicated tools. The teams working on aircrafts flew over the selected areas at around 600 feet, maintaining a constant speed, observing and photographing the sea surface to catch sight of single animals or groups. The boats collected visual data through sightings, as well as acoustic data, using instruments towed behind boats to capture the sounds emitted by the various marine species.

An important tool for the observers during their missions were the rugged and semi-rugged Panasonic TOUGHBOOK notebooks. The long battery life, easily viewable screens in bright sunlight and their ability to operate in extreme environmental conditions, such as at high temperatures and despite water splashes, made them ideal for use.

The TOUGHBOOK 54, the thinnest and lightest ever built, stood out for its unique 'honeycomb' design for improved strength and its spill-resistant keyboard. The TOUGHBOOK 33 2-in-1 detachable offered fully rugged features, with two hot-swap batteries for long work days and a detachable keyboard, allowing the screen to be used alone as a tablet when convenient.

“Being able to count on reliable devices was crucial for us in executing the project. When carrying out such a complicated initiative, based on real-time observation, there is no room for technical problems, as they would jeopardize the collection of data or waste an entire working day,” said Simone Panigada, scientific coordinator at the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative.

With two survey rounds in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, the ACCOBAMS Survey Initiative has offered a unique opportunity to collect data not only on cetaceans, but also on other marine species (e.g. sea turtles, giant devil rays, sharks, sea birds) as well as on marine litter and underwater noise. The results will serve as a valuable baseline to monitor population trends, but will also be considered in light of existing threats to cetaceans and will lead to conservation recommendations for ACCOBAMS parties.

“Knowing how many animals populate our seas is essential for conservation purposes,” added Simone Panigada, “that’s why we committed to creating a census in terms of density and abundance of large vertebrates, which can be used as a starting point and as a comparison for new surveys to be carried out in the next few years. In this way, we can identify marine population trends.”

[1] Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Press Contact:
Kiri O’Leary
The Amber Group
+44 (0)118 949 7737

About Panasonic System Communications Company Europe (PSCEU)
Our quest is to make technology work invisibly together and free businesses to succeed. We believe technology should just work. That businesses will succeed if they can simply focus on their customers, in the knowledge that all the technologies delivering their capabilities work together. That is why we are dedicated to developing products and solutions that are so integrated with our customer’s way of working, that they are almost invisible – the workhorse in the background that powers business success.

PSCEU is made up of six product categories:

  • Broadcast & ProAV gives you the freedom to tell the story with its high quality products and solutions, which ensure smooth operation and excellent cost-performance across a range of remote cameras, switchers, studio cameras and ENG P2HD. The cinema camera range of VariCam models and the EVA1 are capable of true 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) making them the ideal solution for cinema, television, documentary and live event production.
  • Communication Solutions offers world leading telephony systems, SIP terminal devices and professional ‘network’ scanners giving you the freedom to focus on the communication and not the connection.
  • Mobile Solutions Business Division helps mobile workers improve productivity with its range of Toughbook rugged notebooks, business tablets, handhelds and electronic point of sales (EPOS) systems. As European market leaders, Panasonic had a 48% revenue share of sales of rugged and durable notebooks and tablets in 2018 (VDC Research, March 2019).
  • Industrial Medical Vision manufactures applications for various segments such as medical, life science, ProAV or industrial. The product portfolio includes complete and OEM camera systems, providing the freedom to see what can’t be seen.
  • Security Solutions, built on a heritage of providing evidential quality CCTV footage. Delivering the highest image quality in all environmental conditions using our highly reliable, advanced technology cameras and image recording systems, giving you the freedom to feel secure.
  • Visual System Solutions offers the widest range of professional displays and projectors and allows Audio Visual professionals the freedom to create. It leads the European high brightness projector market with a 32.8% market revenue share (Futuresource B2B laser projection>5klm CY2019, Q3 Western & Eastern Europe).

About Panasonic
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development of diverse electronics technologies and solutions for customers in the consumer electronics, housing, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2018, has expanded globally and now operates 582 subsidiaries and 87 associated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of Euro 62.5 billion for the year ended March 31, 2019. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company uses its technologies to create a better life and a better world for its customers. To learn more about Panasonic: