• ACCOBAMS Reports on Marine Protected Areas

    ACCOBAMS is the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area. It is a cooperative tool for the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. It publishes a newsletter entitle FINS. The latest issue of FINS includes the following discussion of marine protected areas:

    “Conservation of cetaceans is one of the issues of concern in Black Sea Strategic Action Plan (BS SAP 2009) and a Black Sea CBD Protocol. Currently the BSC PS is working on drafting the First Report on the Implementation of the BS SAP (2009) and State of the Black Sea Environment (SoE) to be produced every five years, where the relevant information on the conservation of cetaceans will be presented. Reports would produce the Recommendations for decision-makers, including amendments to the existing BS SAP and will take on board the recent activities and trends regarding cetaceans conservation. One of six Advisory Groups of the Black Sea Commission (BSC), namely the Advisory Group on the Environmental Aspects of the Management of Fisheries and other Marine Living Resources (FOMLR), deals with cetaceans’ conservation. At its last 18th Meeting (31st March-1st April, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey), the representatives of the countries reported on the activities implemented during the previous year for cetaceans’ protection and considered the following issues:

    1. Amendments to the fisheries component of the Black Sea Integrated Monitoring and Assessment Program (BSIMAP) for years 2015-2020 to be adopted by the BSC at upcoming 31st BSC Regular Meeting. The FOMLR Advisory Group proposed to the BSC to introduce into the draft BSIMAP the item “Specimens of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins kept in the captivity” in line with «Draft roadmap for the assessment and inventory of specimens of Black Sea bottlenose dolphins kept in the captivity» elaborated between the BSC and ACCOBAMS Secretariats;

    2. Revision of Conservation Plan for Black Sea Cetaceans for 2015-2020 (based on the existing Conservation plan developed for 2006-2010) and Draft Road Map for assessment of bottlenecked dolphins. The FOMLR considered the draft Conservation Plan for Black Sea Cetaceans for 2015-2020 and recommended it for the adoption of the BSC;

    3. FOMLR Advisory Group agreed on a short format of reporting to the BSC, which took on board the indicators compatible with EU MSFD provisions, as well as GFCM, ACCOBAMS and IMO requirements.

    In June, 2015 the BSC PS joined ACCOBAMS and GFCM in their efforts to improve the MPAs designation and management, sustainable fisheries and cetaceans conservation in the Black Sea area. The BSC Working Program also foresees the facilitation of the designation of MPAs in the region, related pilot projects, elaboration of Regional MPA Guidelines, List of recommended Coastal/Marine Protected Areas, Networking etc. Cooperation with CBD Convention Secretariat (Montreal) and relevant projects promoting the designation of MPAs, such as COCONET and MISIS is ongoing. Amendments to CBD Protocol’ Annex II “List of Species of Black Sea Importance” and Annex IV “List of Species Whose Exploitation Should be Regulated by the Black Sea Biodiversity and Landscape Conservation Protocol” are in progress. The BSC stands ready to collaborate with ACCOBAMS and other relevant partners to contribute to the initiatives aimed at updating the mapping of habitats, at elaborating the list of specific zones and areas of importance, FRAs, and in relevant cetaceans studies etc.”

    Click here for this issue of FINS. http://www.accobams.org/images/stories/FINS/fins%2062.pdf

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