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In this issue:

  Latest news
© F. Hobson / Sea Watch Foundation

Analysis on Bycatch Mitigation Measures and Alternative Fishing Methods Published

A new ASCOBANS report detailing a cost-benefit analysis for mitigation measures in fisheries with high bycatch is launched today.  The report, authored by Fiona L. Read, reviews the implementation cost and pros and cons of different bycatch mitigation measures and alternative fishing methods.

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Short-beaked Common Dolphin. © Peter G.H. Evans

New ASCOBANS Report on Cetacean Bycatch Monitoring Methods

A new report detailing a cost-benefit analysis of bycatch monitoring methods aboard commercial fishing vessels is launched today.  The report is authored by Grant P. Course, and aims to present the methods available, and to aid fisheries to choose the most suitable option for their needs.

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© Olaf Kleinwegen / GSM

International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise 2021

The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is the only native cetacean species to the Baltic Sea.  It is also one of the smallest marine mammals globally.  Today, less than 500 individuals remain in the Baltic Sea area, threatened by bycatch, pollution, underwater noise, habitat degradation and diminishing food sources. 

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  Meetings and workshops
Bottlenose dolphin © Steve Geelhoed.

Advisory Committee Decides on Conservation Activities

The 26th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee took place online from 8 to 11 November.  This years’ topics in focus were underwater noise, unexploded ordnance, ocean energy, marine spatial planning, harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphin, beaked whales, and Lagenorhynchus species.

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Harbour Porpoise © Florian Graner

17th Meeting of the Jastarnia Group

The ASCOBANS Jastarnia Group reviewed progress on the implementation of the two Plans by discussing key activities of each Range State present and by presenting updates from across the Baltic and Belt Seas.

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© Heidrun Frisch-Nwakanma

Workshop on Management of MPAs for Small Cetaceans

On 18 May and 7-8 June 2021, over 40 experts participated the ASCOBANS Workshop on Management of MPAs for Small Cetaceans. 

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Some of the participants of the 1st Meeting of the Joint Bycatch Working Group.

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.  150 participants from 34 countries took part in the meeting organized online. 

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© Peter G.H. Evans

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. 

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  Other news
Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

Call for Research and Conservation Project Proposals

The ASCOBANS Secretariat published a call on project proposals for 2021-2022.  The deadline for submissions was 30 April 2021.

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© Florian Graner

New Article Published on Harbour Porpoise Conservation in Europe

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. 

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© Alberto Gennari

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.  

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 © Martin Wein

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. 

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