Working Groups

Bycatch Working Group

Established in January 2019 with the ACCOBAMS Secretariat, this joint working group replaced the ASCOBANS Bycatch Working Group that operated since 2010. The Joint Bycatch Working Group aims to address mandates of relevant resolutions; provide updates on bycatch mitigation measures and their effectiveness; review information on illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; and provide technical support when needed to facilitate dialogue with relevant bodies. Co-chairs are Ayaka Amaha Ozturk and Peter Evans.

Common Dolphin Group

The Common Dolphin Group established in 2019 is the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan (SAP) for the North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin. The SAP can be
accessed at The group is co-chaired by Sinéad Murphy and Florence Caurant.

Extension Area Working Group

The Extension Area Working Group was established in order to covering another important range area of many species for an improved assessment of their conservation status as well as frequently occuring threats such as ship strikes and bycatch.

Informal Working Group on Large Cetaceans

This informal working group was established upon recommendation of the 6th Meeting of the Parties (2009) in order to provide advice to Parties.

Jastarnia Group

This 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). The Jastarnia Group is chaired by Ida Carlén.

Marine Strategy Framework Directive Working Group

This working group was established with a view to ensuring that cetacean conservation issues are adequately taken account of in the framework of ongoing work related to the European Union Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MFSD). Co-chairs are Sinéad Murphy and Vincent Ridoux.

North Sea Group

The North Sea Group is the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the North Sea. The North Sea Group is chaired by Peter Evans.

Pollution Working Group

This working group is formed ad-hoc at each Advisory Committee Meeting, producing a compilation of recently published articles related to chemical pollution as a resource for the Parties.  The reports are published as Annexes to the reports of the Advisory Committee Meetings, which can be accessed at

Resource Depletion Working Group

The 24th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee requested in 2018 the establishment of a Working Group on resource depletion to (i) review new information on resource depletion and its impacts on small cetacean populations and (ii) make recommendations to Parties and other relevant authorities for further action. The Working Group is led by Graham Pierce.

Underwater Noise Working Group

This Working Group is comprised of members and observers of the scientific and advisory bodies of ACCOBAMS, ASCOBANS and CMS. External experts are invited to participate in the Working Group, too, in order to ensure the best possible advice can be generated for the Parties. The group is co-chaired by Sigrid Lueber and Yanis Souami.