Sharing Experiences on Bycatch in ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS Areas

The First Meeting of the Joint Bycatch Working Group of ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS took place from 10 to 12 February 2021.  One hundred and fifty participants from 34 countries took part in the meeting organized online. Day 1 and Day 2 of the meeting were open to observers, which brought in 130+ people outside the Working Group, following presentations and participating in the discussions. Day 3 was dedicated to the Working Group members, to elaborate on their Programme of Work for 2021 and 2022.  The work plan, recommendations, and the meeting report will be posted on the meeting page in due course.

15 February 2021

New Article Published on Harbour Porpoise Conservation in Europe

A new article 'Out of Sight, Out of Mind: How Conservation Is Failing European Porpoises' has been published in Frontiers in Marine Science (open access) as part of the research topic 'Small Cetacean Conservation: Current Challenges and Opportunities'. The article stresses the vulnerability of the harbor porpoise in European seas and especially in the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and in the waters of the Iberian Peninsula off Portugal and Spain, and call for urgent action, especially in relation to bycatch. 

04 February 2021

FAO Technical Guidelines to Prevent and Reduce Bycatch Published

The Fisheries’ and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations has published a fourth supplement to its Technical Guidelines for Responsible Fisheries.  The Guidelines to prevent and reduce bycatch of marine mammals in capture fisheries are directed at decision-makers, planners, managers, and all those involved in developing and implementing policy and technical interventions relating to the bycatch of marine mammals in fisheries.

29 January 2021

9th Meeting of the North Sea Group

The 9th Meeting of the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the North Sea (the North Sea Group) took place online from 20th to 21st January 2021. Parties reported on implementation of the Actions listed in the Conservation Plan, such as bycatch observation programmes, review of current pingers / development of alternative pingers and gear modifications, review of the stock structure of harbour porpoises, and collection of incidental porpoise catch data through stranding networks.

25 January 2021

Internship Opportunities in the Aquatic Species Team

Are you a university student or a recent graduate? Are you interested in aquatic migratory species? Are you interested in the work of a multilateral environmental agreement of the United Nations? If your answer is yes, maybe consider applying for an internship in our Aquatic Species Team! (ASCOBANS, CMS, Sharks MOU, IOSEA Marine Turtle MOU) Deadline for applications: 11 February 2021.

19 January 2021

In Memoriam: Robert Vagg 1961-2021

The CMS Secretariat is deeply saddened to announce that Robert Andrew Vagg, the Convention’s long-serving English language Editor and Report Writer passed away in the University Hospital of Bonn today. His sudden and unexpected death is a tragic loss for CMS and the entire CMS Family. Robert initially joined the Secretariat in 2005 and has been working as principle writer and editor in the shared Communications Unit of the CMS and AEWA Secretariat since the creation of the Unit in 2014. He also served as the report writer to many CMS and CMS Family-related meetings, including for AEWA, ASCOBANS, the Sharks, Dugongs, and Raptors MOUs.

13 January 2021

Season's Greetings from the ASCOBANS Secretariat

We wish you a peaceful holiday season and look forward to a healthy and happy new year!

16 December 2020

New Citizen Science App for Cetacean Sightings

A new citizen science app ‘Sea Watcher’ has been released to log sightings of marine megafauna in the European waters.

11 December 2020

ASCOBANS Common Dolphin Group Meets Online

The second meeting of the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan (SAP) for the North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin - also known as the ‘Common Dolphin Group’ - took place yesterday.  Over 20 members and invited experts attended the meeting, which was held online this time, owing to COVID-19 implicated travel restrictions.

04 December 2020

Intersessional Working Group on Beaked Whales Established

The topic of beaked whales was raised at the 9th Meeting of the Parties (MOP9, 7-11 September 2020) because of the strandings that had occurred in the UK, Ireland, the Faroes and elsewhere.  Many of the species were categorised as Data Deficient under IUCN, and the level of monitoring at sea was inadequate.   The MOP agreed to establish an intersessional working group (IWG) on Beaked Whales to bring together experts to collect data of recent strandings, population abundance and distribution, to discuss potential reasons for the strandings, and report back to the 26th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee.

12 November 2020