ECS-ASCOBANS Workshop on recreational activities and their impact on cetaceans



Small and often fast moving motorized vessels used for recreational purposes appear to be increasing in many coastal waters of Europe whilst there is considerable anecdotal information that negative interactions between them and cetaceans are also increasing. These interactions may constitute significant harassment and other harm, such as causing stress by chasing the animals and even striking them.

The rise in the number of personal watercraft in particular poses major challenges for awareness raising and education, as well as ensuring compliance to codes of conduct and regulations. Cetaceans are in theory highly protected species in European nations but even where this is enshrined in law it is often difficult to enforce.

The workshop will provide a platform to review the status of marine recreation across Europe, and gather information about impacts through presentations followed by a facilitated group discussion. The latter will focus upon standardizing a definition of disturbance and how best for regulators to identify it, and the actions might follow to try to limit negative interactions. A report from the workshop authored by the participants will be provided to ASCOBANS and if there is enthusiasm from the workshop participants, a scientific publication may also follow.

The workshop is part of the European Cetacean Society (ECS) conference, taking place in Catania, Sicily, Italy. Registrations through the ECS website by 25 March 2024.


09 Apr 2024 14:00 to 09 Apr 2024 18:00
Registration Deadline25/03/2024
VenueUniversity of Catania