ASCOBANS Common Dolphin Group Meets Online

Bonn, 4 December 2020 - The second meeting of the Steering Group for the ASCOBANS Species Action Plan (SAP) for the North-East Atlantic Common Dolphin - also known as the ‘Common Dolphin Group’ - took place yesterday.  Over 20 members and invited experts attended the meeting, which was held online this time, owing to COVID-19 implicated travel restrictions.

Comprising of experts from France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the UK, and IGO and NGO representatives, the group reported on progress in SAP implementation, activities contributing towards its implementation, relevant ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) and OSPAR (The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic) meetings, and what kind of action countries were planning to take with regards to the ICES Special Request Advice regarding emergency measures to prevent bycatch of common dolphins. 

Numerous results were presented and show the significant efforts made by each of these countries. Ongoing and future collaborative projects should strengthen the integration of all these efforts and results allowing management measures to be taken in favor of the conservation of the common dolphin in the North-East Atlantic. 

Florence Caurant and Sinéad Murphy, Co-chairs of the Steering Group

The report of the ICES WKEMBYC (Workshop on fisheries Emergency Measures to minimize BYCatch of short-beaked common dolphins in the Bay of Biscay and harbour porpoise in the Baltic Sea), including the resulting ICES advice was discussed at length.  It was decided that the Steering Group would develop a short set of recommendations to be sent to the European Commission, re-affirming the conclusion and concerns within the ICES advice, and providing further guidance where required.  As the day was turning to evening, it was agreed that the recommendations would be developed by correspondence.

The Steering Group also recommended that the ASCOBANS Workshop on the Further Development of Management Procedures for Defining the Threshold of  'Unacceptable Interactions' / Removals of Concern - Part II be held in 2021, to support the development of appropriate anthropogenic removal limits for the species of concern.

The report of the meeting, along with its recommendations, will be posted on the meeting website in due course.

Last updated on 21 April 2021

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Delphinus delphis