30 December 2009 - In the margins of the 24th Conference of the European Cetacean Society, to be held in Stralsund, Germany, from 22-24 March 2010, a joint workshop by ASCOBANS, the European Commission and the North Sea Foundation will be held on 20 March.
For many years, cetacean bycatch has been a major conservation issue facing a variety of cetacean species in Europe, with harbour porpoises particularly affected. Mitigation measures developed have included the introduction of acoustic alerting devices (e.g. pingers), fishery management procedures (e.g. no take zones, "quotas", and effort management), and gear modification (e.g. changes in net type, acoustically reflective nets, floating head ropes, separator grids, etc). Within the EU Common Fisheries Policy, there have been a number of new regulations introducing mitigation measures with the aim of reducing bycatch. Notable amongst these have been Council Regulations 2371/2002 (Article 2) regarding the Common Fisheries Policy, 92/43/EEC (Article 12.4) calling for bycatch monitoring programmes, and 812/2004 & 2187/2005 that introduced the widespread use of pingers in particular gillnet fisheries and phased out driftnets in the Baltic.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, a number of the measures outlined above have not been very successful. Therefore a new approach is needed that will lead to a closer collaboration with fishermen to reduce unwanted mortality. The workshop aims to provide an up to date review of mitigation measures and their effectiveness - their strengths and limitations, and then to discuss possible new cooperative approaches to improve the chances of successful mitigation of cetacean bycatch amongst different fisheries within Europe.
More information on the workshop and the registration procedure can be found here.
Last updated on 25 March 2014