Inputs to the ACCOBAMS ongoing effort to map human threats on cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas


Input of all ACCOBAMS Partners and the scientific community at large, to the threat-based approach: mapping the areas of direct threats on cetaceans in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.



According to the ACCOBAMS Conservation Plan (Annex 2 of the Agreement), Parties shall endeavour to establish and manage specially protected areas corresponding to the areas which serve as habitat of cetaceans. In this context, the Parties and the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS are engaged, since several years, in identifying Cetacean Critical Habitats (CCHs), whose concept refers to “those parts of a cetacean’s range that are essential for day-to-day well-being and survival, as well as for maintaining a healthy population growth rate” (Hoyt 2011).

In parallel, Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) have been assessed in the Mediterranean Sea during a joint workshop organized by the IUCN MMPATF, in collaboration with ACCOBAMS and the Tethys Research Institute (October 2016). However, for the conservation and management of cetaceans it is important to include actual human activities and potential threats at the population level.


Therefore, this workshop aims at the spatial mapping of direct threats to cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS region. This work will allow the identification of similar problems in different countries and assist national organisations in joining effort and applying relevant sustainable conservation actions at the regional level.


For that purpose, workshop participants and ACCOBAMS Partners are invited to take part to this effort by:

  • Gathering information (literature, interview, etc) on human activities and threats in their region.
  • Summarizing / describing threats in their region (ship strike, harassment, interaction with fishery) in specific areas with a short description of the specificities, seasonality, intensity (low, medium, high), species impacted, etc
  • Drawing “threats” areas (in GIS format) for each threat.
  • Coming with their own computer with a GIS software.


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