Cetaceans (order Artiodactyla) are 94 species of marine mammals, many of them are in a critical conservation state due to human action. Cetaceans play an important role in marine ecosystems and they are indicators of the health of the oceans.
The Canary Archipelago is located in the Northeast Atlantic, on the African continental edge, in the Macaronesian Atlantic subregion, a worldwide interest point for the richness and diversity of cetaceans. In the Canary Islands 31 species of cetaceans, belonging to 7 families, have been recorded. Many of these species are oceanic, rare and little known globally. Cetaceans are protected by regional, national and european regulations as well as by international conventions approved by the Spanish state. On the Canary Islands there are several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) under the figure of Places of Community Importance (SCI), Special Conservation Zones (ZEC), members of the Red Natura 2000 from the European Union, declared on the presence of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) species listed in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive.