ACCOBAMS/NATO Workshop on sonar and cetacean interaction

Addressing the impacts of anthropogenic noise on cetaceans is considered as of high priority by ACCOBAMS Parties for reaching ACCOBAMS objective to achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for cetaceans. The ACCOBAMS Resolution 4.17 on “Guidelines to address the impacts of anthropogenic noise on cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS area” was adopted in 2010 and several important achievements have been made in the recent years with the support of the Joint ACCOBAMS/ASCOBANS/CMS Noise Working Group (e.g. identification of the noise hot spots, regional impulsive noise register, collaboration with the EU TG Noise and with the Barcelona Convention, etc.).

 

During the Sixth Meeting of Parties to ACCOBAMS (22nd – 25th November 2016, Monaco), the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat was requested to organize a workshop inviting NATO and National Navies to show how the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee can provide advice and assistance with respect to mitigating adverse effects on cetaceans for any future exercises.

 

In this context, the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat, with the assistance of the co-chair of the JNWG and with the FMES Institute (Mediterranean Institute for high level Strategic Studies), organized a workshop in Toulon, France, on 9th and 9th October 2019. Despite numerous attempts, the ACCOBAMS Secretariat did not reach to have responses from NATO. However, two National Navies have joined this initiative: the French Navy and the Italian Navy.

 

The main objective of this workshop was:

– to improve dialogue and cooperation among national navies and ACCOBAMS for the seek of cetacean conservation

– to introduce how the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee could provide updated advice and specific assistance with respect to mitigating adverse effects on cetaceans for any future exercises

 

During this workshop, the participants reviewed progress by ACCOBAMS, and the difficulties encountered. Their work was focused on three main issues:

– organisation to improve ACCOBAMS effectiveness;

– information sharing between Parties, Scientific Committee and Navies;

– protocols/procedures implemented by navies during the planning of exercises and use of sonar to limit the risks for cetaceans.

 

  Provisional Report