ASCOBANS News

Addressing Conservation Measures for the North-East Atlantic Short-beaked Common Dolphin Population

The North-East Atlantic population of the Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis), Common Dolphin for short, is facing increasing anthropogenic pressures, the most significant of which is bycatch. Other key threats are chemical and noise pollution. The ASCOBANS Species Action Plan (SAP) for the North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin was adopted in 2019.

31 August 2020

New Guidelines Help Minimize the Impact of Bycatch of Small Cetaceans

CMS in collaboration with WWF has published Guidelines for the Safe and Humane Handling and Release of Bycaught Small Cetaceans from Fishing Gear, which set out best practice on how to handle and release small cetaceans accidentally caught in fishing gear. Preventing fisheries bycatch is a top priority to ensure the conservation of species or populations. However, when these efforts fail and small cetaceans are found alive in or on fishing gear, this clear and comprehensive set of guidelines for the fishers involved will be of great benefit.

26 August 2020

Prey Depletion - Another Threat to Small Cetaceans

Small cetacean distributions are influenced by the distribution and diversity of their main prey species and there is evidence that prey depletion is posing a threat to small cetaceans within the ASCOBANS Agreement Area.  The quality and quantity of the prey have a considerable bearing on the health of small cetaceans, and the deterioration of both is a serious concern. A draft resolution on Resource Depletion will be proposed for adoption at ASCOBANS MOP9.

18 August 2020

Baltic Proper Harbour Porpoise in Focus

Last assessed in 2008, the Baltic Proper sub-population of the Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) was categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and the population is thought to number only a few hundred. A draft resolution on The Baltic Proper Harbour Porpoise will be proposed for adoption at ASCOBANS MOP9.

10 August 2020

Marine Debris – Ghost Nets and Plastics – a Deadly Hazard for Cetaceans

Worldwide, marine debris, which includes abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) and plastics, has a negative impact on a substantial number of marine animals. Ingestion of plastics and entanglement, including in ‘ghost nets’, are both increasingly giving rise to conservation and welfare concerns for cetaceans and other marine mammals.

28 July 2020

Best Practice on Cetacean Post-mortem Protocol

Jointly developed by ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS, the Best Practice on Cetacean Post-mortem Investigation and Tissue Sampling  protocol offers a multi-tiered approach and a framework for data collection and interpretation appropriate to the resources available. The Best Practice protocol has been tabled for adoption at ASCOBANS MOP9.

17 July 2020

16th Meeting of the Jastarnia Group

The ASCOBANS Jastarnia Group met for the sixteenth time on 8th and 9th June 2020.  Originally planned to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the meeting was organized online owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The Jastarnia Group serves as the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Recovery Plan for Baltic Harbour Porpoises (Jastarnia Plan) and the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for the Harbour Porpoise Population in the Western Baltic, the Belt Sea and the Kattegat (WBBK Plan). 

11 June 2020

International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise

The International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise (IDBHP) is being celebrated this year on Sunday, 17 May.  The COVID-19 outbreak will certainly pose a challenge to event organizers, who will have to devise activities that conform to the restrictions on public gatherings.  However, if the experience of World Migratory Bird Day is anything to go by, there could be some innovative virtual offerings helping to raise awareness of the precarious status of the Baltic’s only regular cetacean inhabitant.

14 May 2020

Today is World Wildlife Day

“Sustaining all life on Earth” is the theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day (WWD) reflecting the importance of the sustainable use of natural resources as well as highlighting wild animal and plant species as key components of the world’s biodiversity. The theme also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, especially the goals addressing life below water, life on land, eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.

03 March 2020

CMS COP13 in 2020 Will Kick Off Big Year for Biodiversity

The "super year" for biodiversity will kick off with the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13). Hosted by the Government of India in the city of Gandhinagar from 17-22 February 2020, the Conference will bring together CMS Parties, partners and scientific experts to address the alarming decline of migratory species, including birds, aquatic species and terrestrial animals.

06 January 2020