The ASCOBANS Secretariat Team would like to express their gratitude to Valerie Schmidt for preparing this wonderful design for us.
Winner of Creativity Competition “the Last 300” Announced
Berlin/Munich, 10 December 2013 – ASCOBANS, together with the environmental
organizations NABU, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and OceanCare, today
announced the winner of the creativity competition “the Last 300”.
The public interest in the competition which aimed to highlight the plight of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise, proved that many people in Germany identified with “their whale species”. The Harbour porpoise, the only species of whale found regularly in German waters, faces threats from underwater noise, overfishing of its prey, bycatch and destruction of its habitat. It is feared that there might only be 300 of the creatures left, hence the name of the competition.
The winner of the competition was 15-year-old Laura Stattkus, who produced a stop motion film entitled “Hello, little whale”. Her prize was € 500 in cash and a trip to the island of Fehmarn.
All entries, including the three winners, can be viewed on the German-language website www.schweinswal.eu.
The full press release (in German) can be found here
The Last 300 – Vote on the Winner of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise Competition!
28 October 2013 – The creativity competition announced by WDC, NABU
and OceanCare in collaboration with ASCOBANS on the occasion of the International
Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise in May has been an overwhelming success.
Ninety-four entries were submitted, exploring through art and design the
importance of protecting the last harbour porpoises in the Baltic Sea.
The public can vote on the German-language page www.schweinswal.eu
until 25 November. After this, a jury will choose three winners from the
ten entries with the highest number of votes.
The winners will receive attractive prices, and the best entry will be presented to the German government. Please spread this information to your networks!
Consultancy Position - Coordination of the ASCOBANS North Sea Conservation Plan - deadline for applications 20 October
11 October 2013 - At the 6th Meeting of Parties in September 2009 the Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the North Sea (Annex 4 to the Report, accessible here) was adopted. In order to facilitate implementation, the 17th Meeting of the Advisory Committee formed a North Sea Working Group and thanks to voluntary contributions from Parties, a part-time coordinator was first contracted in 2011. Progress reports prepared by previous incumbents can be accessed as AC17/Doc.4-05 rev.1, AC18/Doc.4-06, AC19/Doc.4-05, AC20/Doc.2.2.1.b and AC20/Doc.2.2.1.c. A contract for the coordination will be offered to a relevant institution or experienced individual based in a North Sea Party to ASCOBANS. Applicants are requested to make an offer to the Secretariat by 20 October. Please refer to the Terms of Reference for details.
8 October 2013: Consultancy Position - Support to the ASCOBANS Secretariat - deadline for applications 18 October
Outreach and education is one of the core mandates of ASCOBANS. The Advisory Committee repeatedly endorsed a proposal to develop a website section for children. Content has been developed already. The Secretariat now requires support in coordinating the implementation of the project. Applicants are requested to make an offer to the Secretariat by 18 October. Please refer to the Terms of Reference for details.
ASCOBANS Advisory Committee Addresses Key Threats to Small Cetaceans
29 August 2013 – Today, three intense meeting days reviewing progress
made in the implementation of the Agreement on the Conservation of Small
Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS)
came to a successful conclusion. The 50 participants of the 20th Meeting
of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee, representing the ten State Parties
to the Agreement, as well as Intergovernmental Organizations - ACCOBAMS,
HELCOM, IWC and NAMMCO - and non-governmental observers CCB, ECS, HSI,
IFAW, University of St. Andrews, Sea Watch Foundation, Wild Migration,
WDC and WWF, agreed what steps to take in the coming months in order to
make progress against the Agreement’s Work Plan.
Of key concern remains the threat posed to small cetaceans by bycatch in fisheries. For years efforts have been made in many fora to address this problem, but scientists warn that progress is not sufficient to achieve favourable conservation status for these species. They therefore made a strong call for more focused action, and ASCOBANS will seek to provide information needed as a basis for decisions at European level. Another major threat is underwater noise, which ASCOBANS now tries to address in collaboration with ACCOBAMS and CMS. A new work area for the Agreement is underwater ordnance, for which key partners are OSPAR and HELCOM.
The meeting recognized SCANS-III as a priority project and decided to support preparations for it financially. SCANS stands for Small Cetaceans in the European Atlantic and North Sea, and this third survey aims to update estimates of small cetacean abundance in European Atlantic waters. These results and additional information will be used to assess the impact of direct mortality caused by human activities, and a focused comparison of methods to create a best practice guide for monitoring to inform European Directives will be carried out.
The Committee also endorsed unanimously the proposal by Poland to give the ASCOBANS Lifetime Award to Dr. habil. Karl-Hermann Kock of the Institute of Sea Fisheries of the Johann-Heinrich von Thünen Institute (Hamburg, Germany), who has devoted his entire career to issues related to marine conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources, and had been actively involved in the work of ASCOBANS since 1996 until his retirement this year.
Sami Hassani (France) and Penina Blankett (Finland) were re-elected as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Advisory Committee, with many expressions of appreciation for their services. The next meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee will take place in Gothenburg in September 2014, at the kind invitation of the Government of Sweden.
The List of Action Points and Decisions of the 20th ASCOBANS Advisory Committee Meeting can be accessed here. The full meeting report is available here.
CMS and Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction
Actor Hannes Jaenicke Supports Efforts to Save the Baltic Harbour Porpoise
New Address for the CMS Family in Bonn
17 July 2013 - The second phase of the extension of the UN Campus in Bonn is nearing completion. The existing building accommodating the Secretariats of CMS, AEWA, ASCOBANS and EUROBATS and the one that will house part of UNFCCC will have the same new address, namely Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1 instead of Hermann-Ehlers-Str. 10. The postcode remains 53113, and telephone and fax numbers are unaltered.
The Last 300 - What do Germany's Native Whales Mean to You?
17 May 2013 - On the occasion of the International Day of the Baltic
Harbour Porpoise, which is celebrated in countries around the Baltic Sea
every year on the third Sunday in May, ASCOBANS has partnered with NGOs
Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), NABU and OceanCare to run a creativity
competition in Germany.
Creative minds will have opportunity to explore through their art and design work the importance they personally give to having these unique animals in the Baltic Sea. More information, in the German language, can be found here from Sunday, 19 May onwards.
For the German-language press release, click here.
19 May 2013: Celebrating the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise
19 May 2013: Celebrating the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise
This yearâ€TMs International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (IDBHP) will be celebrated on the weekend of Sunday, 19 May 2013. It is the 11th time that this special day in honour of the critically endangered native whale species of the Baltic Sea is being observed around its shores.
In Denmark, a historical society interested in the past tradition of huting porpoises is working with the Forside Middelfart Museum and other partners to participate in the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise for the first time. Middelfart has a hunting tradition going back to the middle ages, with about 30 hunters going out every winter in ten boats hunting porpoises in order to use their blubber for producing lamp oil. This hunt took place until 1892. Nowadays, porpoises are a protected species in Denmark, and the society is using the local tradition as a way of highlighting the need to protect the species, which now has many threats to contend with. There will be a competition for children, historic exhibition, whale watching on the Belt and other activities.
The SÃ¤rkÃ¤nniemi Dolphinarium in Finland will, as in previous years, provide a variety of information and activities centring on the harbour porpoise for children and adults alike.
The ASCOBANS Secretariat has partnered with NGOs Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), NABU and OceanCare for a competition targeting German-speaking areas. Details will be announced in a joint press release and will shortly become available online.
The Lithuanian Sea Museum is inviting primary class students to get to know the little whales of the Baltic Sea. During educational talks the children will learn about these rare Baltic Sea inhabitants and will also discuss with the museum's biologists the environmental issues threatening the speciesâ€TM survival. In addition, a creative workshop is being offered, during which participants will jointly prepare a sculpture dedicated to the Baltic harbour porpoise. This sculpture will be placed at the entrance of the Sea Museum.
Information about IDBHP events of previous years is contained in the
Handbook, which can be downloaded here.
All participating institutions are encouraged to report back to the Secretariat
about their events. We will put a short report on the activities on this
website and include the information and photos in the next update of the
Jastarnia Group Recommends Crucial Actions for Harbour Porpoises in the Baltic Sea Region
New Executive Secretary of Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)
March 2013 - The ASCOBANS Secretariat warmly welcomes Dr. Bradnee Chambers
who has entered on duty as the new Executive Secretary of Convention on
Migratory Species (CMS). In this function, he also serves as Acting Executive
Secretary to ASCOBANS. He succeeds Elizabeth Maruma Mrema who took up
her new post at United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Headquarters
in January 2012. Prior to his appointment, Bradnee headed the Law and
Governance Branch of the Division of Environmental Law and Conventions
at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi.
More information on his background can be found here
Call for Tender: CMS Family Websites - Deadline 7 April 2013
4 March 2013 - The CMS Secretariat has issued a call for tender for the design and implementation of harmonized websites of the Secretariats of CMS, AEWA, ASCOBANS and EUROBATS. Details can be found at http://www.cms.int/secretariat/vacancies.htm. The deadline for submission of proposals is 7 April 2013.
Advisory Committee Workspace Now Online
29 January 2013 - After months of preparation, we are pleased to launch the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee Workspace, an online platform designed for progressing the intersessional work of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee. It provides an innovative and powerful tool which facilitates participation, promotes communication and supports goal-driven work of the Advisory Committee. We are looking forward to constructive and lively discussions on the many important topics we are working on!
The Workspace is structured in line with the Advisory Committee's Work Plan and the terms of reference of the working groups. All topics have been assigned to a Regional Working Group, a Thematic Working Group, or if none of these were appropriate were listed under Other Topics. A menu shows the individual tasks related to each working group or other topic. Relevant documents have been linked to or uploaded for each task, and information on the mandate given to the Advisory Committee has been provided for each to aid the discussions.
Participants in recent Advisory Committee Meetings as well as members of the various intersessional working groups have been individually invited to the Workspace.
News items of previous years can be accessed in the archive