ACCOBAMS Progressive steps forward to protect whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea and contiguous Atlantic Area
The Convention on the Migratory Species, CMS • Protects endangered migratory species • Allows the establishment of specific Agreements EUROBATS AEWA ASCOBANS
The Agreement Signed in 1996 and entered into force in 2001 The Institutionnal Bodies: • Meeting of the Parties • Permanent Secretariat • Bureau • Scientific Committee • 2 Sub-Regional Coordination Units
18 Contracting Parties And a large partneship
The main goals • Grant full protection to cetaceans • Prohibit deliberate takings • Minimize adverse effects of Fisheries • Prohibit drift nets whose individual or total length is more • than 2.5 Km • Prevent fishing gear from being discared or left adrift at sea • Immediate release of cetaceans caught incidentally in • fishing gear
The main goals • Impact assessment to provide a basis for either regulating or prohibiting the development of activities linked to: • Fishing • Prospection and exploitation offshore • Tourism, whale watching and scientific research • Reinforce standards for discharges of pollutants
The main goals • Protection of habitats and vital areas • capacity building • research and monitoring programs • common tools for collecting data and disseminating information • emergency situations
Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature International Whaling Commission European Cetacean Society The Scientific Committee - 5 experts of CIESM • Regional Representatives from 4 sub-regions - Representatives from 3 International Organisations:
The ACCOBAMS’ Partner Status Conferred to NGOs who: • Have a statement of purpose that includes the Conservation of cetaceans or activities relevant to the Agreement • Have experience in implementing partnerships ventures • Are willing to actively contribute to the further development of the policies and tools of the Agreement through joint projects • Respond to emergency situations
The ACCOBAMS’ Partner Status Among the most active partners: Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society International Fund for Animal Welfare Tethys Research Institute Central Institute for Scientific and Technological Research applied to the Sea
Second Meeting of the Contracting Parties Palma de Mallorca, 9/12 November 2004 New Bureau: Croatia Romania Spain Tunisie • More than 80 participants: • 16 riparian States • European Commission • IGOs and NGOs
Working Program 2005 – 2007 11 priorityactions • Political decisions • Socio-Economical aspects • Science for Conservation • Capacity Building
Political decisions • Strengthening the links with UNEP • Delivery of research permits (derogations) • Collaboration with Pelagos sanctuary Aggreement • Strengthening bilateral and multilateral Cooperations
Socio-economical aspects NOISE in marine environment • Impact assessment of the sources of anthropogenic noise including military activities • Preparation of guidelines by the Scientific Committee
Socio-economical aspects FISHERIES: Mitigate interactions • Project in collaboration with European Community to reduce bycatch • Regulation on the use of acoustic devices • Conservation Plan for the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)
Science for Conservation • Protected areas • - principles for the Identification for key areas • - Guidelines on management • Abondance and distribution of cetaceans • - Wide scale prospections • Stranding networks and tissues banks France-Italy-Monaco Croatia Georgia Spain
Capacity Building Educative Program WDCS Junior Local communities Field works on ACCOBAMS implementation for scientists designated by their autorities
The tasks ACCOBAMS helps Parties to: • Communicate with other Intergovernmental Organizations; • Liaise between the conservation and the exploitation of the living resources; • Provide conservation tools for their Natural Heritage • Facilitate harmonization between the Ministries; • Set up a dialogue among socio economic sectors such as fisheries, maritime transports, tourism…; • Meet the relevant commitments set by other global or regional instruments (UNCLOS, CBD, Barcelona, Bern, Bonn and Bucharest Conventions..)
Publicizing Strengthening the links with Partners and NGOs WDCS IFAW Thethys Public events and campaigns Better publicize ACCOBAMS and its aims Fundraising Educational / Information material
Notarbartolo di Sciara, G., M.C. Venturino, M. Zanardelli, G. Bearzi, F. Borsani, B. Cavalloni, E. Cussino, M. Jahoda, S. Airoldi. 1990. Distribution and relative abundance of cetaceans in the Central Mediterranean Sea. pp. 41-43 in Proc. 4th Annual Meeting of the European Cetacean Society, Palma de Mallorca, 2-4 March 1990.
Why are cetaceans so abundant? Oceanographic studies revealed the presence in the area of a permanent frontal system, and consequent upwellings of deep, nutrient-rich waters.
Such presence of nutrients at the surface allows substantial primary productivity in the area, in striking contrast with most of the Mediterranean pelagic domain
Meganyctiphanes norvegica the main Mediterranean euphausiid
Conservation problems • for Mediterranean cetaceans
Fishing • Pollution • hydrocarbons • toxic chemicals • noise • Collisions • Disturbance • Global change
Obstacles to the implementation of conservation measures Most of the habitat of these pelagic cetacean species rests in international waters, beyond 12 n.m. from the coast. In the Mediterranean Sea, where Exclusive Economic Zones (up to 200 n.m. from the coast) have not been created, management and conservation of high seas resources are problematic.
Search for a solution towards the end of the 1980s it had become increasingly clear that novel initiatives in the field of international law were necessary to protect Mediterranean cetaceans
Pelagos A large protected area (about 87.000 km2), including shallow coastal and deep pelagic habitats, comprising the territorial waters of France, Italy, and Monaco, and the Mediterranean high seas.
A brief history of the sanctuary • Large numbers of carcasses of cetaceans by-caught in Italian pelagic driftnets are found in the Ligurian Sea (1988). • “Operazione Cetacei” by Greenpeace Italy, under the scientific supervision of the Tethys Research Institute, presents the first evidence of the ecological importance of the Ligurian Sea for cetaceans (1989). • ENPA collects signatures for a petition against driftnets (1989). Several Courts in Liguria confiscate the nets. The Minister of merchant marine emits several decrees (1989-90). • The San Remo Rotary Club organises a seminar with the attendance of several Members of the Italian Parliament (1990). • Several NGOs recur to the Administrative Court against the Ministry of merchant marine to ban driftnets (1990). The Court approves. The Ministry recurs to the Council of State, which upholds the Court’s ruling; fishermen blockade the Strait of Messina (1990).
The Minister of merchant marine delimits a triangle in the Ligurian Sea and decrees it offlimits to driftnetting, except for the (few) Ligurian vessels (1990, modified in ‘91 and ‘92). • The Tethys Research Institute conceives and drafts “Project Pelagos”, for the creation of a Biosphere Reserve in the Ligurian-Corsican-Provençal Basin, funded and promoted by the European Foundation Rotary for the Environment (1990).
Project Pelagos is presented in Monaco in the presence of Prince Rainier III (1991). • France, Italy and Monaco sign a Declaration for the creation of an International Sanctuary for the protection of Mediterranean marine mammals, inspired by Project Pelagos (1993). • Despite many obstacles and political changes in France and Italy, the technical work never stops and the sanctuary idea is revived in 1998. • A formal Agreement among France, Italy and Monaco is signed in Rome on 25 November 1999 by Ministers Fautrier, Ronchi and Voynet. • All Parties ratify the Agreement (2000 - 2001). • The Sanctuary is inscribed in the list of SPAMIs (2001). • From this date two Meeting of the Parties were held :a Management Plan was adopted and Permanent Secretariat will be established in the coming months