Identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in the Black Sea, Turkish Straits & Caspian Sea

This week, a Regional Expert Workshop is ongoing to identify Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs) in the Black Sea, Turkish Straits & Caspian Sea organised by IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force. From 92 Areas of Interest, 26 candidate IMMAs proposed for threatened bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, harbour porpoises & endangered Caspian seals.

IMMAs are related to the identification of Cetacean Critical Habitats by ACCOBAMS, which counts with 5 Black Sea member countries. ACCOBAMS delivered a message to the Regional Expert Workshop concerning the Black Sea, Turkish Straits & Caspian Sea.

Regional IMMA workshops

Sharing Experiences on Bycatch in ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS Areas

Bonn, 15 February 2021 – The First Meeting of the Joint Bycatch Working Group of ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS took place from 10 to 12 February 2021.  One hundred and fifty participants from 34 countries took part in the meeting organized online.

The meeting was opened by Isabelle Terrier, Head of the Marine Environment Assessment and Protection Office in the French Ministry in charge of the environment, as France would have hosted the originally planned face-to-face meeting if it wasn’t for COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was particularly important for France to see the two agreements joining forces, as our country is part of both and bycatch is of major concern for us, especially small cetaceans in the Bay of Biscay.  We value international cooperation to tackle this issue. […] We have integrated the 1% threshold of anthropogenic mortality, from ASCOBANS resolution, into our regulation implementing MSFD (as GES threshold and environmental target) for common porpoise and dolphin in the Atlantic subregion, therefore we are compelled to succeed. […] But cooperation is the key of success.”

Isabelle Terrier, Ministry in charge of environment, France, in her opening remarks

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