Mediterranean marine mammal tissue bank

Stranded cetaceans hold a huge potential for scientific exploitation, as they may yield many information on the biology and life history of marine mammals. The Mediterranean marine mammal tissue bank (MMMTB) was first presented to the national scientific community in December 2001 at the “5th Convegno nazionale sui cetacei e sulle tartarughe marine”, in Monte Argentario (GR) and internationally at the “16th Annual Conference of the European Cetacean Society, Liege, Belgium”. The MMMTB was formally established on in January 2002 with a written agreement between the University of Padova and I.C.R.A.M. (now I.S.P.R.A. or Environmental Research Institute) of Rome, and became immediately active.
The MMMTB aims at receiving and freely distributing cetacean tissue samples and information about marine mammals and represents a link between research groups active on stranded animals and scientists all over Europe and the rest of the world.

Objective of the MMMTB are:
• to collect and store tissue in a systematic and well documented manner,
• to provide histological samples for retrospective or new analyses of interest,
• to compare results over time,
• to store biological fluids,
• to store tissues for genetic studies.

The bank takes collects samples from all organs of stranded animals in the Mediterranean Sea and maintains them in 10% neutral buffered formalin, DMSO, alcohol or frozen; the bank collects also biological fluids for biochemical studies.