• IMMA Focus Group at 4th International Marine Conservation Congress IMCC

    The International Association of Geophysical Contractors posted the following article on their website:

    “Focus group on integrating marine mammal behavioral monitoring techniques into the process for the identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas (IMMAs)
    Integrating marine mammal behavioral monitoring techniques into the
    process for the identification of Important Marine Mammal Areas
    St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (YYT), Canada, Sunday July 29,
    2016. Held in association with the 4th International Marine Conservation
    Congress (IMCC), July 30 – August 4, 2016

    This IMMA focus group aims to address the following question: How can
    we better integrate marine mammal behavioral data, observed through direct
    observation or remote monitoring techniques, into the process for
    identifying IMMAs?

    Information on marine mammal behavior is a necessary component of the
    evidence available for enhancing their protection by informing the
    development of marine management and spatial planning practices. It is
    essential that such data and methodologies, such as photo-identification
    and satellite tracking, are considered in a systematic way during the
    application of selection criteria to identify Important Marine Mammal Areas
    (IMMAs). IMMAs are a new strategic classification for enhancing future
    marine planning and conservation measures for these species as developed by
    the IUCN Joint SSC/WCPA Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force
    (IUCN-MMPATF). Moreover, behavioral data must be considered in a manner
    that complements and enhances existing approaches based on ecological
    studies, distribution and abundance, genetic analyses, and expert opinion.
    The goal of this IMMA focus group is to advance this work by examining how data and information on marine mammal behavioral information can be effectively
    collated and communicated to experts during the process of identifying
    IMMAs. Results of this workshop will also contribute towards the creation
    of an IMMA Toolkit, which will become the primary scientific guidance for
    the identification of IMMAs, and will be presented formally at the 4th
    International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas (ICMMPA4) in
    Mexico, November 13 – 17, 2016.

    Please register your interest to participate by emailing the IUCN-MMPATF organisers atimmacoordinator@gmail.com before the IMCC early registration deadline of May 8. For further information about the main IMCC event please see the congress mini-site at http://conbio.org/mini-sites/imcc-2016
    As space for participants will be limited please include your reasons for wanting to attend as well as your professional background in relation to the IMMA initiative, spatial planning, or behavioral monitoring of marine mammals. Unfortunately the IUCN-MMPATF is unable to provide funding for participant registration fees or expenses for attending the focus group or main conference.

    For further information about the IMMA initiative please visit the
    IUCN-MMPATF home and facebook pages at www.icmmpa.org/iucn-task-force andwww.tinyurl.com/gqbsngl “

    Click here for the IAGC website containing this article.

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