View over the River Rhine in Bonn. © Jenny Renell / ASCOBANS Secretariat.
The 28th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee (AC28) took place from 26 to 28 September 2023 in Bonn, Germany, at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV). The meeting discussed key issues such as cetacean watching industry, recreational sea use, pollution and hazardous substances, ship strikes, climate change, MPAs and other protected areas.
The species in focus at this meeting was the Risso's dolphin, and Parties were encouraged to conduct systematic surveys and habitat modelling to identify hotspots, particularly offshore, and to better assess relative importance of different conservation threats on a geographical basis. Intersessional discussion groups were established on climate change and the Iberian harbour porpoise.
AC28 agreed that, for the 10th Meeting of the Parties (MOP10) in 2024, draft resolutions should be developed on cetacean-sensitive maritime spatial planning, conservation of beaked whales, mitigating impacts of recreational speed crafts, and the first revision of the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the North Sea. The meeting further decided that the existing Resolution 8.6. Ocean Energy and Resolution 6.2 Adverse Effects of Underwater Noise on Marine Mammals during Offshore Construction Activities for Renewable Energy Production would need to be revised and potentially updated, due to concerns over recent growth in offshore renewable energy construction.
The Advisory Committee adopted 17 Action Points and Recommendations, which are available here.
The full report of the AC28 will be available on the meeting website in due course.
Last updated on 12 December 2023