Intersessional Working Group on Beaked Whales

Terms of Reference for the Intersessional Working Group on Beaked Whales

The topic of beaked whales was raised at the 9th Meeting of the Parties (MOP9, 7-11 September 2020) because of the strandings that had occurred in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, the Faroes and elsewhere. Many of the species concerned are categorised as Data Deficient by IUCN, reflecting that the level of monitoring at sea is inadequate and given the recent number of strandings and what we know of beaked whale biology, there is considerable concern about the status of populations. 

The Intersessional Working Group (IWG) on Beaked Whales was established, as agreed at MOP9, to bring together experts to review data about recent strandings, population abundances and distribution, to discuss potential reasons for the strandings, and key data gaps, and report back to the 26th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee (AC26, scheduled for 8-12 November 2021). 

The IWG Beaked Whales will aim to develop a report that focuses on ASCOBANS Area and will be provided to Parties, non-Party Range States, and relevant military organisations, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The report will:

  • Summarise available data on recent strandings, population abundances and distributions;
  • Discuss potential reasons for strandings, including reviewing the relevant evidence;
  • Discuss potential mitigation measures; and
  • Make recommendations.

The IWG will operate by correspondence and online platforms.


Andrew Brownlow
Antonio Jesús Fernández Rodríguez
Auriane Virgili
Aviad Sheinin
Jan Haelters
Karen Stockin
Lonneke Ijsseldijk
Maria Morell
Mark Simmonds
Patrick Miller
Peter Evans
Petter Kvadsheim
Rob Deaville
Sarah Dolman
Simon Berrow
Sinéad Murphy
Stephanie Plön
Last updated on 04 June 2024