Annual conference

The ECS convenes once a year in an European country with invited international authorities, talks and posters. This is the ECS Annual Conference at which theAnnual General Meeting is also held. Its main theme changes every year. To better accommodate university students, interested in attending the Conference, the meetings alternate between southern and northern Europe as much as possible.

Choice of venue for conferences

Since the founding conference at the North Sea Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark, in January 1987, there has been an unwritten policy to alternate conference venues between northern and southern European countries, and also to vary the region and type of venue as much as possible to encompass all the various interests and backgrounds of members. This policy has enabled members, students and interested non-members to attend our conferences at one time or another. This policy supports the ECS constitution that states that “the objectives of the Society are to promote and co-ordinate the scientific study and conservation of cetaceans and other marine mammals; and to gather and disseminate information about cetaceans and other marine mammals to Members of the Society and the public at large”. The ECS is also beginning to alternate between Western and Central/Eastern Europe.

Our venues therefore differ widely, but each conference has a theme that echoes the background resources and expertise of the particular hosting organisation each year. The ECS Council consider that this is the best possible way to experience and utilise all the skills and knowledge that abound in our Society, and excluding non-ethical research, inhumane practices and political agendas, the Society tries to encompass all aspects of cetacean research in order to encourage a robust dialogue and interchange of ideas and information between members. The Society is also dependent on potential organisations offering to host the conferences, and in this respect the Council is extremely pleased to receive invitations from a variety of scientific establishments with international reputations.

A variety of workshops are organised each year during the two days prior to the conference itself. Participants are encouraged to propose workshop concepts by submitting an abstract. The format of the conference allows ample time for participants to explore the host location and socialise. There are organised networking events such as the ice-breaker, excursions and video night, and participants are encouraged to organise their own if they wish. Conferences are held at locations where a range budgets are catered for:  accommodation available in the vicinity of the conference will include hotels and youth hostels. 

If you wish to attend a conference or subscribe for membership, please register here. Once registered, your personal profile will be generated and you may then apply for ECS membership (annual subscription) and conference registration.

Further subscription information will be available at the conference page, including subscription forms, hotel and travel information, workshop schedule, outings, partner programmes and so on.