Working Groups

Bycatch Working Group

The group will work intersessionally with the provisional tasks listed below; these can be fine-tuned by the group itself where deemed necessary. A report will be submitted to the next AC meeting detailing new information. The group should coordinate its activities closely with the regional working groups of ASCOBANS.

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 in order to provide advice to Parties: 

  • To summarise information on abundance, distribution and status of large cetacean species occurring within the ASCOBANS Agreement Area. 
  • To identify major issues likely to be having a negative effect upon large cetacean populations in the Agreement Area, and the extent to which they can be addressed alongside small cetaceans. 
  • To make informal recommendations of appropriate mitigation measures. 

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. Both can be accessed at

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).

North Sea Group

The North Sea Group is the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the North Sea. It can be accessed at

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 here:

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.