Harbour porpoises © wj_strietman@hotmail.com
Heidrun Frisch-Nwakanma © WJ Strietman

Farewell, ASCOBANS!

It is time to say goodbye to ASCOBANS – at least temporarily. It has been over nine years since I started as Coordinator for the ASCOBANS Secretariat and CMS Marine Mammals Officer. Now I have accepted a temporary assignment to the role of Coordinator of the CMS Indian Ocean South-East Asia (IOSEA) Turtle Memorandum of Understanding, effective from January 2017.

Read more
ASCOBANS MOP8 Participants © Henna Brinkman

2016 - Year in Review

2016 has certainly been a turbulent year on the world scene. Also for ASCOBANS, it has brought both good and bad news. There have been several successes to celebrate, and some losses to mourn. Here some of the more notable events of the year.

Read more
ASCOBANS Season's Greetings 2015 © Wioleta Rasmus

Season’s Greetings from the ASCOBANS Secretariat

This year, our thanks goes to the Hel Marine Station in Poland (www.hel.ug.edu.pl) for organizing the competition for the design of the ASCOBANS Season’s Greetings Card.

Read more
Bottlenose Dolphin © Steve Geelhoed

Countries Act to Better Protect Whales and Dolphins from Bycatch, Chemicals and Underwater Munitions

Harbour Porpoises, Orcas and Common Dolphins are exposed to many threats. Bycatch, for example, kills large numbers of marine mammals in fishing nets. Ocean energy installations, leaching chemicals and submerged munitions from the two world wars impact their lives.

Read more

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Honoured for Outreach and Education Efforts

The ASCOBANS Outreach and Education Award was presented to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), and accepted on behalf of the organization by its Chief Executive, Chris Butler-Stroud. CMS Executive Secretary Bradnee Chambers presented the award.

Read more

Countries to Consider Conservation Challenges to Small Cetaceans

From 30 August to 1 September 2016, the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement for the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) will take place in Helsinki, Finland. At the meeting, Parties will review the implementation of the Agreement over the past four years, and agree upon priority conservation measures for the period 2017-2020.

Read more

Hooked: Bycatch Threatens Species around the Globe

Bycatch is the single largest threat to many marine species across the world. To help prevent bycatch, during the 8th Meeting of the Parties to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS), a Draft Resolution addressing the Monitoring and Mitigation of Small Cetacean Bycatch will be discussed.

Read more

Between the Turbines: Consider the Marine Species Affected by Ocean Energy

The ocean harbours immense potential as a source of renewable energy, but accessing that energy can be damaging to marine species and their habitats. To balance healthy environments with green energy, a Draft Resolution on Ocean Energy will be considered at the 8th Meeting of the Parties to ASCOBANS.

Read more

Cetaceans under Fire: Resolution to Address Threats from Underwater Munitions

Small cetaceans living in European waters – and many other parts of the world – share their home with a legacy from the past: tens of thousands of tonnes of munitions submerged in the water. The impacts of the underwater arsenal are still largely uncharted.

Read more

Loud and Too Clear: Underwater Noise Harms Marine Animals

Underwater noise generated by human activity affects a wide variety of species, from crustaceans to cetaceans. At the upcoming 8th Meeting of the Parties to ASCOBANS, Parties will consider CMS Family Guidelines on Environmental Impact Assessments for Marine Noise-generating Activities. These guidelines were created to help governments make informed choices about allowing different activities in their jurisdictions and thereby protect marine environments.

Read more

PCBs: Phased Out in the 1980s, Still Threatening Dolphins and Porpoises in 2016

Contamination from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) endangers the health and survival of many cetacean populations. To help tackle this threat, a Draft Resolution addressing the Impacts of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) will be discussed at the upcoming 8th Meeting of the Parties to ASCOBANS.

Read more
Gdynia, Poland © J. Jankowski

The fourteenth celebration of the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise

On Sunday, 15th May 2016, the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (IDBHP) was celebrated around the shores of the Baltic Sea for the fourteenth time. Attached is a compilation of the reports on events that were sent to ASCOBANS.

Read more
Harbour porpoises © Solvin Zankl

15 May 2016: Celebrating the International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise

This year’s International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (IDBHP) will be celebrated on the weekend of 14 and 15 May 2016. So why does a little whale have its own special day, celebrated this year for the 14th time?

Read more
Harbour Porpoise © Peben Toft

Draft Revision of the Jastarnia Plan Discussed Near the “Birthplace” of the Original Recovery Plan for Baltic Harbour Porpoises

At the kind invitation of the Ministry of the Environment of Poland, the ASCOBANS Jastarnia Group held its 12th Meeting at the Hel Marine Station in Poland on 12-14 April 2016. The Jastarnia Group, made up of experts from the environmental and fisheries sectors of their countries, as well as invited experts, civil society and the ASCOBANS Secretariat, has been established to discuss progress in the implementation of the two action plans adopted for harbour porpoises in the wider Baltic Sea region: the Recovery Plan for Baltic Harbour Porpoises and the Conservation Plan for the Harbour Porpoise Population in the Western Baltic, the Belt Sea and the Kattegat.

Read more
Krzysztof Skóra

In Memory of Krzysztof Skóra

It was with deep regret and great sadness that we learned of the passing of Prof. Krzysztof Skóra, founder and Director of Hel Marine Station of the University of Gdańsk, Poland, on 13 February 2016.

Read more

6th Meeting of Parties to ACCOBAMS Meets 20 Years on from Agreement’s Signature

The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to ACCOBAMS – the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area – is being held in Monaco from 22 to 25 November. This is the third time that the MOP will have been hosted by the Principality of Monaco, which also serves as the Agreement’s depositary and provides the offices of the Secretariat.

Read more

CMS and OceanCare Sign Partnership Agreement

CMS and OceanCare signed a Partnership Agreement today to formalize their cooperation to better conserve aquatic and marine migratory species. CMS Executive Secretary, Bradnee Chambers, and OceanCare President, Sigrid Lüber, signed the agreement in the margins of the 45th Meeting of the CMS Standing Committee taking place from 9 to 10 November in Bonn, Germany.

Read more

Monaco - Champion of Marine Species Conservation – the First Fruits

At the ceremony where the Migratory Species Champion Programme was launched on the eve of the CMS COP11 in Quito in 2014, the Government of the Principality of Monaco received the Champion award for its commitment to the conservation of marine species for the triennium 2015-2017.

Read more

CMS Secretariat visits Bonn International School

Four representatives from the CMS Secretariat’s Terrestrial Species Unit visited the Bonn International School to give a presentation about CMS and what they do to conserve migrating animals.

Read more

Exploring Synergies for Addressing Bycatch throughout the CMS Family

On Friday and Saturday, 22-23 April 2016, the CMS Family got together for an internal workshop to exchange experiences with addressing what is considered the greatest threat to the marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and seabirds that our treaties and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were set up to conserve.

Read more

Hal Whitehead Wins Mandy McMath ECS Conservation Award

At the recent European Cetacean Society Annual Meeting in Madeira, Portugal, the Mandy McMath ECS Conservation Award was presented to Professor Hal Whitehead of Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Read more