General information

The problems related to interactions between fishing activities and cetaceans that have negative impacts on cetacean populations are very complex and well known to ACCOBAMS. These also have socio-economic implications, in particular the situation of severe conflicts between fishermen and dolphins generated, in some zones of the Agreement Area, by the damages to the fishing gear.

In its Agreement Text, ACCOBAMS invite Parties to implement, within the limits of their sovereignty and/or jurisdiction and in accordance with their international obligations, appropriate measures for the assessment and management of human-cetacean interactions and stressing that measures concerning fisheries activities shall be applied in respect of any vessel under their flag or registered within their territory, including in all waters under their sovereignty and/or jurisdiction, and outside these waters (Article II, paragraph 3).

Since its entry into force, ACCOBAMS Parties have adopted several Resolutions to mitigate the interactions between fishing and cetaceans but also to mitigate the phenomenon of depredation:

Resolution 2.12 on Guidelines for the use of acoustic deterrent devices

Resolution 2.13 on pelagic gillnets

Resolution 2.21 on assessment and mitigation of the adverse impacts of interactions between cetaceans and fishing activities in the ACCOBAMS area

Resolution 2.25 Prey depletion

Resolution A/3.1, amending Annex 2 to ACCOBAMS, as regards the use of drift nets

Resolution 3.8 strengthening collaboration with the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean

Resolution 4.9 on fisheries interactions with cetaceans

Resolution 6.16 on fisheries interactions with cetaceans


At the present time, all the bodies of the Agreement but more particularly the Permanent Secretariat and the Scientific Committee are working to:

  • pursue the collaboration with the GFCM Secretariat and strengthen the involvement in the relevant works and initiatives undertaken under GFCM, but to strengthen the collaborations with the Secretariats of CMS, ASCOBANS, the IWC and other relevant Organizations to investigate approaches for achieving significant decrease in the cetacean by-catch levels,
  • provide assistance to Parties in addressing the issue of interactions between cetaceans and fishing activities, including illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, taking into account the social and economic aspects of this issue, ensuring that all activities undertaken in this context are in line with the objectives of ACCOBAMS and considering mutual impacts of mitigation measures,
  • to keep a watch over the recent advances in technology regarding the acoustic devices for mitigating the interactions between cetaceans and fishing gears,
  • to develop a joint working group with ASCOBANS on bycatch, and to explore opportunities for linking this with other relevant initiatives, including the Bycatch Initiative established under the IWC.


Link to the joint ACCOBAMS/GFCM Project on mitigating the impact of fishing activities on endangered species, being implemented in cooperation with RAC/SPA, with the financial support provided by the MAVA Foundation.