Analysis on Bycatch Mitigation Measures and Alternative Fishing Methods Published

A new ASCOBANS report detailing a cost-benefit analysis for mitigation measures in fisheries with high bycatch is launched today.  The report, authored by Fiona L. Read, reviews the implementation cost and pros and cons of different bycatch mitigation measures and alternative fishing methods.

21 December 2021

Advisory Committee Decides on Conservation Activities

The 26th Meeting of the ASCOBANS Advisory Committee took place online from 8 to 11 November.  This years’ topics, as per Resolution 8.1 (Rev.MOP9), were underwater noise, unexploded ordnance, ocean energy, and marine spatial planning. The species in focus at this meeting were the Harbour Porpoise, the Bottlenose Dolphin, Beaked Whales, and Lagenorhynchus species (Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and White-beaked Dolphins). The meeting agreed on 29 Action Points and 19 Recommendations in its Scientific Session.

22 November 2021

New ASCOBANS Report on Cetacean Bycatch Monitoring Methods

A new report detailing a cost-benefit analysis of bycatch monitoring methods aboard commercial fishing vessels is launched today.  The report is authored by Grant P. Course, and aims to present the methods available, and to aid fisheries to choose the most suitable option for their needs.

20 September 2021

26th Meeting of the Advisory Committee to Take Place This November

The 26th Meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Agreement for the Conservation of Small Cetaceans in the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) is due to take place virtually from 8 to 12 November 2021, as decided by the 9th Meeting of the Parties last year. The scientific session of the meeting will see participants review and discuss four pressures to small cetaceans listed in the Annex to Resolution 8.1 (Rev.MOP9), namely underwater noise, ocean energy, unexploded ordnance, and marine spatial planning. 

26 August 2021

New Toolkit to Improve Marine Mammal Conservation in MPAs

A Marine Mammal Management Toolkit has been released by the European Union-funded Ocean Governance project. Marine mammals are increasingly subject to anthropogenic threats such as bycatch, ship strikes and noise pollution. There is a real need for effective conservation measures, which are often applied through the designation and management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, their success is often limited due to lack of capacity, resources and on occasion of relevant expertise. This Toolkit will provide knowledge to support marine mammal conservation in MPAs.

14 July 2021

Workshop on Management of MPAs for Small Cetaceans

On 18 May and 7-8 June 2021, over 40 experts participated the ASCOBANS Workshop on Management of MPAs for Small Cetaceans. Held online, it was organised together with the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, WWF Germany, WWF Sweden, Coalition Clean Baltic, the Natura 2000 Biogeographical Process, and ASCOBANS.

14 June 2021

17th Meeting of the Jastarnia Group

The ASCOBANS Jastarnia Group has successfully concluded its 17th annual meeting, which took place virtually from 25 to 27 May 2021. 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 reviewed progress on the implementation of the two Plans by discussing key activities of each Range State present and by presenting updates from across the Baltic and Belt Seas.

31 May 2021

Famous Killer Whales back in Hebridean Seas

Much loved whales John Coe and Aquarius from the West Coast Community of killer whales were spotted on Wednesday 5th May near Porthgwarra, southwestern England.  Nine days later on the 14th May, the pair were seen back in the Hebrides by Anthony Rigell from Waternish Point, Isle of Skye around 550 miles north of Porthgwarra, and on the 17th May they were spotted off Lochboisdale, South Uist from the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust’s research vessel, Silurian.

21 May 2021

International Day of the Baltic Harbour Porpoise 2021

The Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) is the only native cetacean species to the Baltic Sea.  It is also one of the smallest marine mammals globally.  Today, less than 500 individuals remain in the Baltic Sea area, threatened by bycatch, pollution, underwater noise, habitat degradation and diminishing food sources. 

14 May 2021

Call for Research and Conservation Project Proposals

The ASCOBANS Secretariat expects to be able to support a few research and conservation projects in 2021-2022.  At the next Advisory Committee Meeting, to be held from 8 to 12 November 2021, Parties will make a decision on the use of any available funds. The deadline for proposal submission to the Secretariat is 30 April 2021.

17 March 2021