[MARMAM] European whales, dolphins and porpoises: conservation in practice

Peter Evans peter.evans at bangor.ac.uk
Fri Dec 6 02:22:13 PST 2019


European Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises: Marine Mammal Conservation in Practice by Peter GH Evans. Academic Press/Elsevier, San Diego & Cambridge, USA & Oxford, UK. 305pp. ISBN: 978-0-12-819053-1.

This book presents a close view of the workings of an international conservation agreement to protect marine mammals, detailing its achievements over the last 25 years, whilst identifying weaknesses and making recommendations that governments, scientists, marine stakeholders and the public can take to improve conservation efforts.

The first regional conservation agreement for marine mammals was signed in 1992. ASCOBANS (Agreement for the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, Northeast Atlantic, Irish and North Seas) promotes close cooperation between countries with a view to achieving and maintaining a favourable conservation status for Europe’s small whales, dolphins and porpoises throughout the Agreement Area. Ten European countries have now become Parties to the Agreement.

The 25th anniversary of the signing of the ASCOBANS Agreement is celebrated by a volume that not only sums up everything that the agreement stands for but also demonstrates the wealth of cetacean species inhabiting the region. It aims to be both attractive and accessible to a wide range of interested parties, whilst conveying up to date information on status, distribution & trends of species, methods used to study them, all the major conservation threats, and protective measures that can be taken. There are 280 illustrations – photographs, maps and graphs, many of which have not been published before, and boxed features written by a variety of key players in the Agreement’s history drawn from UNEP, governments, major environmental NGOs, senior marine mammal scientists, and conservationists from all around Northern Europe.


Foreword, by Executive Secretary of the UN Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals



Chapter 1. History of the Agreement – background to its inception, key political developments, relationships to other treaties, conventions, agreements etc.

Chapter 2. Conservation Agreements around the World, that aid the protection of cetaceans – relevant legislation in the ASCOBANS Agreement Area – EU Habitats Directive, EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, OSPAR, Helsinki Convention, ACCOBAMS. And ranging outside Europe: IWC, US Marine Mammal Protection Act, legislation in Canada, Australia & New Zealand

Chapter 3. Regional Review of Agreement Area – celebration of the diversity of species occurring in Northern Europe, and the ecological context in which they occur

Chapter 4. Systematic List with species accounts including description, range, distribution, ecology, abundance estimates, conservation threats

Chapter 5. Conservation problems facing small cetaceans in the Agreement Area – review of the main threats along with trends: hunting, fisheries by-catch, resource depletion, contaminants, sound disturbance, vessel strikes, recreation and climate change

Chapter 6. Research in the Agreement Area - investigating population structure, counting animals, photo-identification, acoustic studies, post-mortem examinations from stranded animals., including illustrated case studies with their findings

Chapter 7. Conservation actions – actions to reduce hunting, resource depletion, fisheries by-catch, contaminants, sound disturbance, vessel strikes, recreation, climate change; engagement with EC on by-catch mitigation, establishment of marine protected areas, conservation plans for porpoise in the Baltic and North Sea.

Chapter 8. Focus on the future - conservation goals and challenges for ASCOBANS and European governments to address.

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