Statement of Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of ASCOBANS to Mark the 30th Anniversary of the Agreement

17 March 2022 - Today, we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of ASCOBANS – the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North-East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas.

ASCOBANS grew out of concerns over the impacts of human activities on small whales, dolphins and porpoises, especially the harbour porpoise. The Agreement was concluded on 17 March 1992 and subsequently signed by 10 countries.

The core objective of ASCOBANS is to achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for small cetaceans in the waters of northern and western Europe.

ASCOBANS fosters international collaboration and collective action, among governments, scientists, policy makers, and partner organisations. It provides a platform to agree on tangible solutions to key threats, such as bycatch, underwater noise and pollution.  It  also provides science-based advice and guidance to inform decisions on how to mitigate these threats.

ASCOBANS has proven to be an effective agreement, but much work remains. With climate change, pollution and changes to the natural environment, ASCOBANS will continue to have an important role to ensure the well being of small cetaceans,    

I would like to thank all of the many people and organizations who have helped shape ASCOBANS into what it is today, and I look forward to continuing our joint action for these beautiful and intelligent animals.

Happy 30th Anniversary.

Last updated on 18 December 2022

News item
Noise pollution
Unsustainable fishing and harvesting aquatic resources
Prey depletion
Species group: 
Marine mammals