ECS Conference Workshops 2017

Workshops will be organized on April 29th (Saturday) and 30th (Sunday). For some workshops the number of participants is limited and some workshops may be restricted to invited participants.  Those with adequate sponsorship can be free of charge, whilst for most there are registrations fees (please contact the organizer for details). For any question concerning the workshops please contact the organizers of each workshop and not the conference committee.
 

The themes/titles of the proposed workshops for the Conference are presented below as well as contacts of the organizers and abstracts.

 

 


Saturday 29 April 2017

  • The ECS Student Workshop: Passive acoustic monitoring and introduction to PAMGuard (9.30-17.30)
  • How to achieve a European Joint Cetacean Protocol? (10.00-16.00)
  • Best practice workshop: Noise monitoring and assessment in countries bordering the seas around Europe - Fostering cooperation between regional instruments (9.00-17.00)
  • Citizen science as a basis for management decisions and nature conservation (9.00-17.00)
  • The Marine Mammal Nexus – How can we as marine mammal scientists can make a better contribution towards addressing global environmental problems (9.00-17.00)

 

Sunday 30 April 2017

  • Marine mammal bycatch: opening the black box of science-policy interface - CANCELLED
  • Static Acoustic Monitoring (SAM) of toothed whales using echolocation clicks: Loggers, Experience, Advances and Challenges (8.20-17.20)
  • Approaches to assessing impacts from marine industry on harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation (9.30-17.00)
  • Predator-prey interactions between grey seals and other marine mammals (9.00-17.30)
  • 5th workshop on "Communicating marine mammal science to the general public" (9.00-17.00)
  • Marine litter: a cause of concern for marine mammals? (½ day, 9.00-14.00)
  • Inputs to the ACCOBAMS ongoing effort to map human threats on cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas (9.00-17.30)
  • Effects of PCB exposure in killer whales and other threatened toothed whale species of the North Atlantic (9.00-17.00)
  • Customer meeting, Wildlife computers Cetacean Tag Workshop (½ day, 13.00-16.00)

 

 


Detailed information of workshops

 

The ECS Student Workshop: Passive acoustic monitoring and introduction to PAMGuard

Saturday 29 April 2017. Contact Christian Riisager-Pedersen (ecs.students@gmail.com) for signing up.

Time and location: 09.30 – 17.30 Venue: Lillebælt-Værftet (9.30 – 15.30) and Kulturøen (15.30 - 17.30)

This workshop is organized by Christian Riisager-Pedersen1,2 and Rebecca Boys3+4

1) Marine Mammal Research, Institute for Bioscience, Aarhus University, 2) Natural History Museum Denmark, University of Copenhagen, 3) ECS student representative, 4) IMAR – Dept. Oceanography and Fisheries, University of Azores.

Participation fee: FREE

Aim: To introduce students to the importance of passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) as a research tool and to give a short course in how to use the software program PAMGuard. Also includes a field trip by boat to use PAM equipment.

Summary: PAM is becoming an increasingly important research tool for marine mammal scientists around the globe. This one day workshop will introduce students to different types of research questions which can be answered with the use of PAM. The workshop is aimed at students without any advanced knowledge about PAM, and is kindly co-sponsored by the research company Seiche, which works with PAM on a daily basis.

Requirements: 1) Bring your laptop with a downloaded version of Pamguard (freely available online) 2) Readpre-course material and suggested reference material 3) Bring cloths capable of keeping you dry and warm for several hours on the water.

The workshop allow a maximum of 60 participants. ONLY students can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


How to achieve a European Joint Cetacean Protocol?

Saturday 29 April 2017. Contact Kelly Macleod (Kelly.Macleod@jncc.gov.uk) or Tim Dunn (Tim.Dunn@jncc.gov.uk) for signing up.

Time and location: 10.00 – 16.00 Venue: Naturcenter Hindsgavl

This workshop is organized by Kelly Macleod and Tim Dunn from Joint Nature Conservation Committee.

Participation fee: €5

Aim: Identify potential European partners and objectives of a future Joint Cetacean Protocol with coverage throughout European seas.

Summary: The Joint Cetacean Protocol (JCP) assembled effort-related cetacean sightings datasets from all major UK, and some European sources. These data represented the largest cetacean sightings resource ever collated in Europe: 38 data sources, at least 542 survey platforms; over 1 million km of effort; and over a 17-year period (1994-2010) in European shelf seas. There is currently no mechanism to maintain and develop the JCP (e.g. collate and store new datasets) and at the 2016 ECS a workshop was held to discuss the future of the JCP. Key objectives of a future JCP project were identified and included:

  • Developing standardised methods to increase the pool of robust and compatible datasets
  • Developing an electronic data capture system that includes formatting, validation and data upload tools
  • Developing a central European database
  • Working towards making these data open access
  • Identifying products required by stakeholders, such as maps or atlases.
  • Identifying data gaps and working with data providers to fill them

In March 2017, JNCC will host a UK and Ireland workshop toward further development and prioritisation of these objectives and to draft a plan of how they could be achieved. Ultimately, the JCP aims to broaden its coverage to a European level and this ECS 2017 workshop will gauge interest from potential European partners and review the outputs of the March workshop from a European perspective. Combining the outputs of previous and the ECS 2017 workshop will ensure that the future JCP will deliver for both UK and European stakeholders. The workshop is aimed primarily at stakeholders that collect/collate cetacean survey datasets but also potential users of a JCP.

The workshop allow a maximum of 30 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Best practice workshop: Fostering inter-regional cooperation in underwater noise monitoring and impact assessment in waters around Europe, within the context of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive

Saturday 29 April 2017. Contact Maylis Salivas (msalivas@accobams.net) for signing up.

Time and location: 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Hindsgavl (Room 1)

This workshop is organized by ACCOBAMS, ASCOBANS, CMS, ECS.

Participation fee: FREE

Aim: To gather information about noise monitoring in waters surrounding Europe six years after the publication of the MSFD guidelines for descriptor 11 (noise) of Good Environmental Status. To harmonise regional noise registers currently existing or under development in waters surrounding Europe. To gather expert opinion on potential improvements of monitoring methods used by countries and/or defined by the MSFD. Time allowing, to gather expert opinion about a noise impact indicator. To elaborate a recommendation to the European Commission about this issue, to be approved by the ECS.

Summary: Underwater noise is considered by the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, Descriptor 11), by the Ecosystem Approach Process (EcAP) of the Barcelona Convention (Objective 11) and by other international agreements concerning the good environmental status of seas around Europe. An important task identified by these agreements is to fill knowledge gaps about current underwater noise levels. The MSFD defines two indicators: loud, low and mid-frequency impulsive sounds (11.1.1), and continuous low frequency sound (11.2.1), widely referred to as “ambient noise”. Recent initiatives for noise monitoring are the impulsive noise registers developed by ICES for the OSPAR and HELCOM regions (http://underwaternoise.ices.dk), and by ACCOBAMS for the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding regions (http://accobams.noiseregister.org/). Other initiatives, such as project JOMOPANS in the North Sea (OSPAR region II), address the need for integrated ambient noise monitoring programmes. The first part of this workshop will invite national experts to present these initiatives and discuss practical issues to promote inter-regional cooperation for noise registers. The second part of the workshop aims to compile technical opinion and advice about current definitions of Descriptor 11 from ECS experts in the field of underwater bioacoustics. A set of questions about current criteria for noise monitoring and potential indicators of noise impact by the MSFD will be distributed to ECS experts, and the responses will be analysed at the workshop. The workshop may result in a proposal for a resolution by the ECS to the European Commission for potential improvements to Descriptor 11, to be presented for approval at the General Assembly.

The workshop allow a maximum of 40 participants. Everybody can participate (with priority on experts)

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Citizen science as a basis for management decisions and nature conservation

Saturday 29 April 2017.

Time and location: 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 1)

This workshop is organized by Michael Dähne, German Oceanographic Museum (Michael.daehne@meeresmuseum.de) and Carl Christian Kinze, Atlas of Danish Marine Mammals, Atlas of Danish Marine Mammals (cck@hvaler.dk)

Participation fee: €25

Aim: Connecting marine mammal scientists around the Baltic Sea to establish a common basis for reporting incidental sightings of marine mammals. For resident species this will be aimed at aiding management decisions, but exploiting historical data sources for regularly occurring and guest species will also be discussed.

Summary: Citizen science (CS) is probably the new buzz word since it allows the collection of large amounts of data in time and space. CS has already been applied within the Baltic Sea area – already before the very invention of the term CS. Two particular good example are the projects ‘Focus pa hvaler’ (focus on whales) from the 2000-2003 in Denmark and the project ‘Segler sichten Schweinswale’ (Sailors on the lookout, 2000 – ongoing) in Germany. Incidental sightings of large whales and dolphins cause large media attention in the larger Baltic area that needs to be used for nature conservation purposes and to inform citizens about ongoing conflicts such as bycatch, underwater noise, chemical pollution and climate change. It is helpful to exploit already existing networks of scientists, journalists and citizens that roam the Baltic for instance on sailing vessels. These skilled observers are nowadays equipped with high-precision digital devices and are one of the cheapest opportunities to gather data otherwise unavailable. One particular good example is the Baltic harbour porpoise population. Of this population no estimates of group size are available and surveys are extraordinarily expensive so that a survey can only be conducted once in ~10-20 years – a much too long time to feed into management decisions. In order to further exploit and develop this method for the benefit of long-term insight to cetacean diversity and fluctuations of resident, regularly occurring and guest species over time we would like to strengthen also the scientific network among all Baltic Sea countries, tentatively to be known as CETOBASE (Cetaceans of the Baltic Sea). Experts will discuss the already existing situation in each Baltic country and focus will be put on establishing a common database and webpage in each countries language.

The workshop allow a maximum of 40 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


The Marine Mammal Nexus – How we as marine mammal scientists can make a better contribution towards addressing global environmental problems.

Saturday 29 April 2017.

Time and location:  9.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 2)

This workshop is organized by Hanna Nuuttila, Swansea University (h.k.nuuttila@swansea.ac.uk) and Mark Simmonds, Bristol University/The Humane Society (mark.simmonds@sciencegyre.co.uk)

Participation fee: €15

Aim: Identify opportunities for positive action for marine mammal scientists; develop tools to overcome barriers to change; increase communication between scientists, the general public and policy makers.

Summary: This workshop will explore of how our area of science (marine mammal science) can both aid understanding and also practically inspire action to address the big environmental concerns of the day. The workshop will be organised around keynote speakers and small group discussions to facilitate effective brainstorming and develop ideas and action plans for marine mammal scientists, both as individuals and collectively, to help us make practical contributions to address major concerns. We plan to use marine litter and climate change as our primary focuses but we are open to other ideas. We would like inter alia to:

  • Facilitate a brainstorming session that explores ideas to utilise results from current advanced in marine mammal science and marine mammals as flagship species as a driving force for positive environmental action in a rapidly changing world and with ever expanding use and development of marine areas;
  • Encourage marine mammal scientists to inspire others for positive environmental change;
  • Discuss the ethics of maintaining conventional research themes in the light of critical environmental degradation in world’s oceans;
  • Discuss the importance of ‘real’ aims and impacts of our science for the general public - instead or on top of traditional ‘impact’ metrics of science publications;
  • Inspire positive and constructive journalism, science communication and reporting using marine (mammal) science to encourage environmental action in all levels of society; and
  • Encourage collaboration across marine science fields and sectors to overcome the current trend of ignoring scientific opinion in the public sphere.

The results of the workshop will be used to develop a paper for a peer-reviewed journal that will help inspire new actions and initiatives.

The workshop allow a maximum of 30 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Marine mammal bycatch: opening the black box of science-policy interface

CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED   CANCELLED

Sunday 30 April 2017 (all day). Contact Vincent Ridoux (vincent.ridoux@univ-lr.fr) or Hélène Peltier (helene.peltier@univ-lr.fr) for signing up.

This workshop is organized by Vincent Ridoux (vincent.ridoux@univ-lr.fr), Hélène Peltier (helene.peltier@univ-lr.fr), Alice Lapijover (alice.lapijover@univ-lr.fr) and Matthieu Authier (matthieu.authier@univ-lr.fr) from Observatoire PELAGIS UMS 3462.

Participation fee: €10 (morning only, coffee break included) or €25 (whole day, lunch included)

Aim: To bring together ecologists and social scientists to discuss how bycatch is studied; how these scientific results are then used (or ignored) in policy; and how these policies feedback on bycatch studies. Draft a short report to be submitted to the IWC/SC.

Summary: Bycatch is the main threat looming on marine mammals worldwide. There are different scientific ways to study bycatch (onboard observers, surveys, strandings, etc); each method having some strengths and weaknesses. This workshop aims at gathering case studies on bycatch to examine how scientific assessments were produced (methodology), how these results were then disseminated to stakeholders involved in the bycatch issue (fisheries, elected officials, local or national authorities, NGOs, fellow scientists in other disciplines, etc); and how the reception of these results across stakeholders feed-backed on how bycatch is or ought to be studied. Case study presentations should include:

  • a detailed context of the bycatch issue (where? which species? what was the historical relationship between stakeholders?),
  • how bycatch estimations were provided (method, results),
  • how the problem became salient policy-wise and to whom,
  • how various stakeholders (scientists, fishermen, policy-makers, NGOs, etc) were involved or not,
  • how scientists’ work was impacted by new or existing policies addressing bycatch,
  • how relationships among stakeholders evolved over time.

Case studies will be presented in the morning session and thoroughly discussed in the afternoon to identify common threads and context-specificities. Morning presentations will be open to all to attend, but discussions in the afternoon will be restricted to the morning speakers in order to prepare a draft a short report to be submitted at the upcoming International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee meeting in Slovenia.

The workshop allow a maximum of 40 participants. Everybody can participate (morning) and invited experts (afternoon).

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Static Acoustic Monitoring (SAM) of toothed whales using echolocation clicks: Loggers, Experience, Advances and Challenges

Sunday 30 April 2017. Contact Jens Koblitz, BioAcousticsNetwork (Jens.Koblitz@bioacousticsnetwork.org) for signing up.

Time and location: 8.20 – 17.20 Venue: Naturcenter Hindsgavl

This workshop is organized by Line A. Kyhn, Nick Tregenza, Mats Amundin, Jakob Tougaard and Jens Koblitz

Participation fee: €25

Aim: This workshop aims to focus on the issues that impact efforts to use Static Acoustic Monitoring of echolocation clicks.

Summary: SAM has now been used in several large projects that have produced results that could not be achieved by other methods within realistic budgets, but it is a young method with multiple challenges. Topics will include:

  1. Available instruments and methods of data analysis.
  2. Performance including false positive rates, noise impacts, and time costs.
  3. Species identification.
  4. Detection functions.
  5. Density estimates.
  6. Actual projects.
  7. Future developments.

Time will be provided for lively discussion. Speakers include Armando Jaramillo on monitoring the trend of the Vaquita population,  Len Thomas on the estimation of population size, and contributions from Chloe Malinka, Eiren Jacobson, Jamie MacAulay, Jens Koblitz, Joanna Sarnocinska,  Kait Fraiser, Mark Johnson, Mark Woods, Nick Tregenza, Victoria Warren and others.

Topics include applying PAMGuard classifiers, Comparing Sound Trap and C-POD, Noise and C-PODs, Comparing methods, Species identification, SAM projects, Monitoring and MPAs, Designing projects, Click detectability, Click production rates, Density Estimation, Detection functions, Comparability of methods, and presentations on different equipment.

The workshop allow a maximum of 100 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Approaches to assessing & managing impacts from marine industry on harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation

Sunday 30 April 2017. Contact Ceri Wyn Morris, Natural Resources Wales (ceri.morris@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk) for signing up.

Time and location: 9.30 – 17.00 Venue: Lillebælt-Værftet

This workshop is organised by Ceri Wyn Morris (Natural Resources Wales), Rebecca Walker & Claire Ludgate (Natural England), Karen Hall (Scottish Natural Heritage) and Lindis Bergland & Nikki Taylor (Joint Nature Conservation Committee)

Participation fee: €20

Aim: To discuss and compare harbour porpoise conservation measures across Europe, and develop recommendations for future approaches.

Summary: As a wide ranging, highly mobile species, harbour porpoise present a challenge for spatial conservation. However, the species is protected throughout its range, including through Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) under the EU Habitats Directive. Harbour porpoise SACs have been proposed or designated by all European countries within the species’ range, however marine industry continues to develop in European waters and potentially poses an increasing threat to harbour porpoise, particularly from the renewable energy sector. The workshop will be an opportunity for regulators, advisors, researchers, developers, NGOs and other stakeholders from across Europe to share and learn from their experiences of implementing harbour porpoise conservation measures in the face of a growing industry. Participants are invited to discuss real-life case studies on the challenges of conservation management of harbour porpoise, including issues such as:

  • How are activities and impacts assessed against SAC conservation objectives?
  • How are marine industry developments managed within and outside the SAC?
  • How should impacts such as collision risk, noise disturbance and habitat loss be assessed and mitigated within and outside sites?
  • How does conservation management of coastal sites compare to offshore sites?
  • How were stakeholder views considered?
  • Are there other approaches that have been used for ‘wider sea’ areas e.g. conservation strategies?

The workshop will be an opportunity for participants to contribute to a better understanding of how to meet these challenges and to help establish the best way forward. The intention is to publish workshop proceedings identifying issues, highlighting examples of how they are being overcome, best practice and lessons learned.

The workshop allow a maximum of 50 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Predator-prey interactions between grey seals and other marine mammals

Sunday 30 April 2017. Contact Nora Hanson, Sea Mammal Research Unit, University of St Andrews (nnh@st-andrews.ac.uk) for signing up.

Time and location: 9.00 – 17.30 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 1)

Participation fee: FREE

Aim: This will be an ICES-facilitated workshop to address the pathology, prevalence and consequences of predator-prey interactions between grey seals and other marine mammals.

Summary: Grey and harbour seals are sympatric predators throughout much of their distribution in the Northeast Atlantic. In some areas of Scotland, where ~ 30% of the European population is found, harbour seal populations are in steep decline. Over the past two decades, on both sides of the North-Atlantic, there has been an increase in the number of seals reported dead stranded with characteristic spiral lesions. Until recently, the causes were hypothesized to be predation by sharks, and/or anthropogenic mortality resulting from collision with ducted propellers. However, direct observations of adult male grey seals predating young grey and harbour seals were recently made in Germany and the UK. These predation events produce lesions similar to those seen in the archetypal ‘corkscrew’ lesions. It is now considered plausible that a significant majority of these traumatic events are due to seal predation. Grey seals have additionally been shown to kill and predate upon harbour porpoises in a number of countries bordering the North Sea with the Netherlands reporting grey seals predation as one of the main causes of death for harbour porpoises. Clearly this behaviour is not restricted to a few ‘rogue’ individuals and it appears to be both spatially extensive and possibly increasing in some areas. It is now apparent that there is an urgent need to understand the magnitude and extent of this observed phenomena and the possible impacts at population level. From a marine policy perspective, it is vital to reliably partition anthropogenic trauma from ‘natural’ predation. This workshop will provide an opportunity for experts to meet and discuss the aims presented above. The workshop will aim to deliver a refined pathology decision-tree for identification of predation events, a summary report for the attention of the ICES Working Group on Marine Mammal Ecology, and an outline of future research priorities.

The workshop allow a maximum of 30 experts.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


5th workshop on "Communicating marine mammal science to the general public

Sunday 30 April 2017. Contact Volker Smit, NGO MEER, Berlin, Germany (smit@m-e-e-r.de) for signing up.

Time and location: 9.00 – 17.00 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 2)

This workshop is organized by Volker Smit, NGO MEER, Berlin, Germany (smit@m-e-e-r.de) and Dr. Luigi Bundone, Institution:Archipelagos ambiente e sviluppo, Italia (luigibundone@tiscali.it).

Participation fee: €25

Aim:

  • exchange about marketing and fundraising,
  • exchange and develop applicable protocols to address education,
  • exchange experience in addressing the media,
  • exchange ideas and knowledge in new science teaching tools,
  • foster general networking with all stakeholders,
  • share information about sources related to education,
  • exchange about the outreach of education and
  • support ECS to address educational questions.

Summary: After the workshops in Setubal 2013, Liège in 2014, Malta 2015 and Madeira 2016 we want to continue to share educational and outreaching experiences of communicating marine mammal science to the general public. These experiences can be educational programs that support school curricula, pedagogical outreach materials such as books, videos, kits, activities and exhibitions. In this year we will focus on protocols related to objectives and strategies of communication and fundraising as suggested by the last workshop participants on Madeira in 2016.

The workshop will be divided in two parts. In the morning session we are going to emphasize on general marketing and fundraising strategies and how to address these tasks often lacking among marine mammal scientists and those focusing on education. Furthermore we will address important aspects when communicating marine mammal science to non scientific audiences. The afternoon session will focus on working groups that will be formed at the end of the morning session. They will depend very much on the input of the participants in sharing their experiences as well as addressing challenges they are currently facing. One working group will concentrate on marketing and will be supervised by our keynote speaker Ms. Carstens. Here it will be possible to get some input for your own marketing needs. A more detailed programme e.g. with abstracts will soon be published and send to you on request. Possible output:

  1. Protocol related to objectives and strategies of communication.
  2. Checklist for marketing and fundraising activities.

The workshop allow a maximum of 30 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Marine litter: an emerging cause of concern for marine mammals

Sunday 30 April 2017 (½ day). Contact Dr. Matteo Baini, University of Siena, Italy (matteo.baini@unisi.it) for signing up.

Time and location: 9.00 – 14.00 Venue: Kulturøen

This workshop is organized by Dr. Matteo Baini, University of Siena, Italy (matteo.baini@unisi.it), Dr. Cristina Panti, University of Siena, Italy (panti4@unisi.it), Prof. Maria Cristina Fossi, University of Siena, Italy (fossi@unisi.it) and Dr. Amy Lusher (amy.lusher7@gmail.com)

Participation fee: €15

Aim: The main aim of the workshop is to explore the emerging issue of the impact of marine litter (in particular plastic litter) on marine mammal species.

Summary: Marine litter has become a pervasive pollution problem affecting all of the world seas. It is widely documented that marine litter, in particular plastic litter, have negative impacts on marine wildlife, primarily due to ingestion and entanglement. Since most of marine mammal species (more than 66%) are affected by this contamination, the workshop will be devoted to define the impact of marine litter on marine mammals including the current state of knowledge, methodological advances on and through the presentation of the new data available on this topic. The main expected outputs are:

  • To define harmonized protocols for the analysis of marine litter in stranded organisms
  • To define new methods to evaluate the exposure to marine litter (in particular plastics) in free-ranging organisms
  • To identify the most at-risk species to marine litter
  • To identify hot spot areas for marine mammals interacting with marine debris
  • To propose mitigation actions for future recommendation

The goal of the workshop is to combine a series of presentations focused on current knowledge on the topic, discuss on different methodologies and approaches to face the issue. The workshop could represent an opportunity for exchange and discussion to highlight current knowledge gaps.

The workshop allow a maximum of 60 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


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

Sunday 30 April 2017.

Time and location: 9.00 – 17.30 Venue: Middelfart Sparekasse (Room 3)

This workshop is organized by Léa David, ACCOBAMS Task manager and member of the Scientific Committee (lea.david2@wanadoo.fr) and Maylis Salivas, ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat (msalivas@accobams.net).

Participation fee: €25

Aim: 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

Summary: 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.

A document will be send to participants prior to the workshop concerning the type of information we will need the day of the workshop.

The workshop allow a maximum of 50 participants. Everybody can participate.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Effects of PCB exposure in killer whales and other threatened toothed whale species of the North Atlantic

Sunday 30 April 2017.

Time and location: 09.00 – 17.00 Venue: Hindsgavl Castle (Room 1)

This workshop is organized by Rune Dietz, Aarhus University (rdi@bios.au.dk)

Participation fee: €50 (if support from the Benzon Foundation is obtained the fee will be reduced accordingly)

Aim: Update on recent research within the field of contaminant exposure in North Atlantic toothed whales. Collaborations/project application initiatives within a Toothed Whale Contaminant Consortium. Planned outcomes of this workshop are: An ECS statement, E-letter and a press release.

Summary: The workshop’s aim is to gain a better understanding of the serious health risk from exposure to environmental contaminants in killer whales (Orcinus orca) and other toothed whales. Recent worrisome data show that killer whales and other toothed whales in European and Greenland waters bear the highest contaminant burdens of any free-ranging species (Dietz et al., 2016; Jepson et al., 2016; Jepson and Law 2016), yet the lack of knowledge on the implications of such high exposure is critical, as we require better insights into both the pathways of contaminant exposure and the potential detrimental effects on individual and population health.

Due to their key role as apex predators in marine food webs, toothed whales are particularly vulnerable to contaminant biomagnification processes and as a result bioaccumulate high concentrations of these toxic compounds. Moreover, ongoing change in ecosystem composition and dynamics is another major environmental stressor which is just one of many consequences of global climate change or other anthropogenic activities (Post et al. 2013). Regardless, killer whales and other toothed whales are excellent sentinel species to assess ecosystem health status. For example, changes in feeding and migration behaviour in these apex predators is a sure indicator of significant shifts in ecosystem functioning that will, or may already, have consequences for other species including certain human populations. The bioaccumulation of persistent and toxic pollutants in humans and wildlife has been associated to detrimental effects on immune, endocrine and reproductive functions. The proposed workshop will discuss and plan future collaborative studies aiming at a better understanding of these whales’ feeding ecology, demographics, foraging and migration behaviour, the major contaminant exposure pathways and contaminant effects. We will also discuss initiatives to mitigate future release of PCBs and other emerging contaminants through statements from central organizations, regulatory bodies and conventions.

The workshop allow a maximum of 20 invited experts.

You may download the workshop agenda here.

 

 


Customer meeting, Wildlife computers Cetacean Tag Workshop (½ day)

Sunday 30 April 2017 (½ day). Contact Melinda Holland, Wildlife Computers (melinda@wctags.com) to sign up.

Time and location: 13.00 – 16.00 Venue: Hindsgavl Castle (Room 2)

This workshop is organized by Melinda Holland and Kevin Lay, Wildlife Computers

Participation fee: Free

Aim: Introduce the current and future technological advances in cetacean tags; provide a hands-on session regarding the use of Wildlife Computers tags and Portal for clients that currently or plan to use our tags.

Summary: The use of electronic tags on small and large cetaceans has increased over the years with the advent of tag designs customized to minimize the impact on the animal and increase retention. In addition, the availability of high-density memory chips and advances in sensor technology allow the collection of increasingly detailed data. Combined with more powerful microprocessors, these data can be summarized on-board the tags and transmitted via the Argos System, increasing the efficacy of the use of the tags.
This workshop will have two sessions. In the first session, Wildlife Computers will give a brief presentation of the types of cetacean tags now available, and the research and development projects currently in-process. This session will finish with an open discussion on the future direction and needs of cetacean researchers. The session should last approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending upon the topics raised during the discussion.

The second session will be dedicated to hands-on demonstrations of the features of Wildlife Computers tags and answering detailed questions regarding the use of our tags. Questions regarding the application of our tags to specific research questions are encouraged.

The workshop allow a maximum of 50 participants. Everybody can participate.

Workshop agenda to be announced.