20th Annual Conference, Gdynia, Poland


Gdynia, Poland, 3-6 April 2006

The ECS Conference took place in Gdynia, Poland, between 2-7 April (pre-conference workshops on April 1, 2 and 7, plenary sessions April 3-6) and was hosted by the Hel Marine Station, University of Gdańsk, in co-operation with the Fundation for the Development of the University of Gdańsk and the City of Gdynia. Conference organisors Iwona Kuklik and Krzysztof Skóra introduced 57 talks and about 240 poster presentations. Seven workshops have been organized in the two days before the conference, some of which were very overbooked.

The theme of the very successful 20th Conference of the European Cetacean Society was:

Marine Mammals and Man in Coastal Ecosystems: Can they co-exist?

A most memorable event was the unveiling of a statue of the Harbour Porpoise during the Conference. This statue by Piotr Yahouvkovsky symbolises the importance of this small cetacean for the Baltic states as indicator of the environmental well being of the Baltic.

On the other hand was the Conference well helped by an unexpected visitor: a humpback whale that visited the area around Hel and Gdansk at the same time. It captured the nation’s attention and made for many interviews for magazines, newspapers, radio and television! The ECS could not have done better if it had been planned.