PostHeaderIcon Cetaceans contamination detected

CIRCE, an ACCOBAMS Partner, has forwarded to the Permanent Secretariat an article on contamination of cetaceans from the Strait of Gibraltar and the Gulf of Cadiz.

Article: icone_pdf

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Photos by: David Alarcón González / CIRCE



Last Updated (Tuesday, 21 April 2015 12:28)


PostHeaderIcon Kick-off of the joint ACCOBAMS-GFCM project

Last Tuesday, 07 April 2015, the joint ACCOBAMS-GFCM project on mitigating the interactions between endangered species and fishing activities was officially launched at the kick-off meeting of the project that was held in Tunis (Tunisia) in the premises of the International Center for Environmental Technologies (CITET).

This project will attempt to assess the extent of the interactions between endangered marine species (i.e. cetaceans, sea turtles, seabirds, sharks) and selected fisheries of the Western Mediterranean Sea; this assessment will be associated to the testing of fishing technics aimed at mitigating such interactions. Additionally, through this project, fishers and civil society will be object of awareness campaigns and fishers will also be involved in pilot activities where traditional fishing is associated with ecotourism such as observation of marine wild fauna.

The project will last two years and is financed by the MAVA foundation. The kick-off meeting was organized and attended by the secretariats of the two organizations as well as by the national coordinators that will lead the surveys in Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Spain and France.

PostHeaderIcon ACCOBAMS Training Course in Cetacean Conservation in Malta

ACCOBAMS Training Course in Cetacean Conservation in Malta (16-20 March 2015)

The Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS) will implement, thanks to a Voluntary contribution from Monaco, a training course in cetacean conservation in Malta, from 16 to 20 March 2015.

The ACCOBAMS training course in cetacean conservation covers the following topics:
  • Species of Cetaceans (identification, anatomy, physiology, adaptation and parasitology)
  • Threats to Cetaceans (interaction, pollution, collisions and noise)
  • Study Skills (observation/ rating population, photo-identification and passive acoustics)
  • Legal and Legislative Framework on the Conservation of Cetaceans
Lectures will be delivered by ACCOBAMS experts and marine biologists. The training course in the conservation of cetaceans has already been provided in French to more than 300 University students in five ACCOBAMS Parties.
Students should have a prior knowledge of biology and/or environmental conservation in order to be able to follow this Unit. The Unit consists of 28 lecturing hours spread over 5 days from the 16-20 March. The course shall be assessed through a written assignment at the end of the course. The course programme can be found here and the full course description can be found here.
To apply, fill in the online form by clicking here. Deadline for applying is Monday 9 March.
The course fee is €50. Late applications will be received until 12 March with a €20 late application fee.
This Unit will be accredited by the Centre for the Liberal Arts and Sciences and will be considered as part of the Programme in the Liberal Arts and Sciences (PLAS). The 4 ECTS credits obtained for this Unit will be valid towards a PLAS award.

Unit Coordinator:
Ms Carmen Mifsud (Marine Biologist) 
Dr Léa David (Marine Conservation Biologist; Member, ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee)
Dr Sandro Mazzariol (Researcher, University of Padua; Veterinary Expert in Cetaceans)
Dr Chedly Rais (Expert in Conservation, ACCOBAMS)
Prof. Tullio Scovazzi (Professor of International Law, Univ. of Milano-Bicocca; Legal expert, ACCOBAMS)
Dr Adriana Vella (Senior Lecturer, Dept of Biology, UoM; Chair, Scientific Committee, 29th ECS Conference; ACCOBAMS Partner)

The ACCOBAMS teaching module will be implemented in Malta also in collaboration with BICREF's and CBRG-UoM.

Please do not hesitate to contact the ACCOBAMS Secretariat ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) should you need more information.

The ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat

Last Updated (Wednesday, 11 March 2015 07:43)


PostHeaderIcon "High Quality Whale Watching" Label in force in Monaco

Label "High Quality Whale Watching" in force in Monaco

The Executive Secretaries of ACCOBAMS and Pelagos Agreement signed in Monaco on February 9, 2015 with the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature, a Convention for the implementation of the "High Quality Whale Watching " Label for operators offering trips for the observation of whales and dolphins.

Observations at sea of marine mammals commonly called "Whale Watching" grows in the Mediterranean. Well managed and contained in an extensive dynamic, it is a great vehicle for environmental education, it contributes to local economy and can participate in cetacean research and conservation. But in the absence of context, it can escalate, increasing pressure on the environment and disturbance of animals to cause a very serious impact on the populations concerned.
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After France in July 2014, the Principality of Monaco implements as well the "High Quality Whale Watching" Label through the Monegasque Association for the Protection of Nature (AMPN) an ACCOBAMS Partner.
When granted with the Label, operators undertake to train, to respect the code of conduct for Whale Watching, not to practice swimming with dolphins, to participate in scientific research and to deliver a message quality passenger encountered on cetaceans and the activities of the two Agreements.

The activity of Whale Watching is an important channel for communication and public awareness; it is not to ban it, but to frame it in a sustainable manner in order to reconcile the socio-economic aspect of this activity with the protection of marine mammals and their habitat.

So watch but respect!
Article published in the "Monaco Matin" on February 24th.
monaco matin 24 fevrier 2015

Last Updated (Wednesday, 25 February 2015 09:44)


PostHeaderIcon ACCOBAMS Workshop at the 29th ECS Conference


ECS Workshop – Saturday 21st March 2015 - Malta

ORGANIZERS: ACCOBAMS Secretariat (Florence DESCROIX COMANDUCCI, Camille MONTIGLIO and Maylis SALIVAS), GIS3M (Hélène LABACH), WWF France (Denis ODY, Aurelie TASCIOTTI) and Acquario di Genova (Guido GNONE)


All interested participants are invited to contact Maylis SALIVAS by email ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

PRICE: 25€/ participant (full day) or 15€ half day

OBJECTIVE: Strengthening the Cooperation in the ACCOBAMS Area

This workshop aims at facilitating the information data flow and the dynamic exchange of knowledge and experiences between all experts involved in cetacean conservation in the Mediterranean and Black Seas (scientists, NGOs, students …).

The final objective of the workshop is the implementation and the use of common and relevant information/communication tools for the conservation of cetaceans in the ACCOBAMS area.


Morning Session

8:45 Welcome of participants

9:15 Presentation and launch of the ACCOBAMS communication database for information exchange - Maylis SALIVAS

This initiative came from a real need expressed by ACCOBAMS Parties during the regional workshops on the ‘ACCOBAMS Strategy’ in 2012. In this context, and after consultation with the ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee and the ACCOBAMS Partners, it was decided to propose a dynamic internet tool allowing:

  1. the consultation of studies and activities (anyone can ask to add his/her own contribution),
  2. the concrete exchanges of information through a discussions’ forum, e.g., a blog.

All topics about the conservation of cetaceans can be addressed (research, threats, stranding, etc.). This tool aims at facilitating collaborations between all actors in cetacean conservation, especially between experts from North Countries and experts from Southern Mediterranean Countries, but also between experts within a same sub-region.

9:45 Launch of the network NetCCoBAMS - Maylis SALIVAS and Aurélie TASCIOTTI

With this workshop, we would like to launch the first network in cetology for the ACCOBAMS area (Mediterranean, Black Sea and Atlantic adjacent area): the “NetCCoBAMS” initiative.

Organizations and experts will be invited to provide advices and guidance on this initiative and to contribute to the discussions.

Two coordinators will be appointed to work in close collaboration on this issue with ACCOBAMS / GIS3M and WWF.

- Presentation of NetCCoBAMS

- Discussions

10:45 Coffee break

11:00 Feedback from ACCOBAMS Partners and other relevant organizations- Camille MONTIGLIO - all ACCOBAMS Partners and relevant organizations

ACCOBAMS Partners and other relevant organizations will be invited to express their views with emphasis on collaboration/communication within the ACCOBAMS area and contribute to the discussion.

12:30 Lunch – snacks will be provided

Afternoon session

14:00 Training to the use of Intercet – Guido GNONE

Material needed: participant should come with their own computer. An internet access will be needed.

Intercet is a photo ID Web-GIS application thought to support aggregation, visualization and integrated analysis of data coming from various institutions engaged in cetacean research. About 100 potential data contributors at Mediterranean level were identified during the last ACCOBAMS Scientific Committee.

A training of different experts involved in the cetacean conservation, on the Intercet use, is the first step of a sustainable implementation of this important tool that promotes data sharing on a common basis.

(More information on this tool is available:  http://www.intercet.it/)


Last Updated (Friday, 06 February 2015 09:25)


PostHeaderIcon New ACCOBAMS Partners

During its last Meeting (Paris, 9-10 december 2014), the Bureau was presented with the new applications for ACCOBAMS Partnership.

The Permanent Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Status of ACCOBAMS Partner was granted to:
  • The NGO “Association de Gestion Intégrée des Ressources (AGIR)
  • The NGO “Association Monegasque pour la Protection de la Nature (AMPN)
  • The CIMA Research Foundation


PostHeaderIcon Unexpected visitors in the Adriatic

Rare event happened in the Central Adriatic.

5 sperm whales were spotted and recorded by Croatian maritime police in Šibenik archipelago, located in the Northern Dalmatia. As found out later, the same specimen were observed few days before near Vis island, which is located more to the south.
All relevant institutions and organisations were alarmed as well as media and general public. All hope that these marvelous animals, who rarely visit this area, find safe way home.

photo blue world

Last Updated (Thursday, 11 September 2014 15:54)


PostHeaderIcon High Quality Whale Watching certification registered by ACCOBAMS

Pursuant to the Resolution 5.10 regarding whale watching for commercial purposes in the ACCOBAMS area, the Permanent Secretariat of ACCOBAMS is pleased to announce the official registration at the WIPO, dated 4 September 2014, of the «High Quality Whale Watching " certificate as a collective mark with its logo and the regulations governing its use.

label ww
« Marque collective regroupant les opérateurs d’observation de cétacés
respectueux du code de bonne conduite »

In addition, a first Convention "Partner High Quality Whale Watching ", aimed at implementing the label at national or regional levels was signed in July by the Secretariats of ACCOBAMS and Pelagos Sanctuary, with the French NGO “Souffleurs d’Ecume”. This Convention launches the first implementation of the ACCOBAMS « High Quality Whale Watching » certificate. It will be managed by “Souffleurs d’Ecume” along the French Mediterranean coasts.
The ACCOBAMS Secretariat welcomes the French initiative and reminds that Parties to ACCOBAMS are encouraged to adopt national rules in order to implement at national level the certificate in the relevant bodies, private or public.
Thanks to this certificate, a sustainable Whale Watching, reconciling socio-economics issues with conservation of cetaceans, can develop throughout the ACCOBAMS area and more particularly in the Pelagos Sanctuary.



PostHeaderIcon Mare NOSTRUM Project

The ACCOBAMS Secretariat is pleased to inform you that the two kayakers from "Mare Nostrum" project supported by the ACCOBAMS Secretariat, have reached the Albanian coast last week.
They were warmly welcomed by the President of the Lezha Region and by the Manager of the Shengjin Harbor, thanks to the support of H.E.M. Giuseppe Durazzo, Consul of Albania in Monaco.

kayak 1
Douglas Couet and Louis Wilmotte accompagnied by the President of Lezha Region, M. Pashk Gjoni
Douglas COUET and Louis WILMOTTE are 2 student engaged in a great human and scientific adventure called “Mare Nostrum project”. Their objective is cross the Mediterranean Sea from Gibraltar to Istanbul by sea kayak.
In addition to the technical achievement of their project, Douglas and Louis contribute to scientific projects (collecting algae, recording underwater noise, opportunistic observation of cetaceans) and to public awareness. At each stop, they try to share their adventure with the local population, and more particularly in schools.
For more information, please consult their web site: http://www.marenostrum-project.com/

kayak 2

Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 July 2014 10:20)


PostHeaderIcon Workshop on cetacean live stranding


Workshop on Cetacean Live Strandings
29 and 30 October 2014 in Monaco

The ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat will organize on 29-30 October 2014, in collaboration with the Pelagos Secretariat, a workshop on cetacean live stranding. Its objective is to define an administrative transboundary procedure in order to facilitate response to emergency situation where transboundary situation occurs in the Pelagos Sanctuary (pilot area of ACCOBAMS).
The administrative transboundary procedure agreed during the workshop will be presented to all ACCOBAMS Parties as a framework document for other areas where transboundary situation occurs.
Whoever is interested in participating to this workshop is invited to contact the ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat as soon as possible (Mrs. Maÿlis SALIVAS: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

Last Updated (Thursday, 17 July 2014 08:37)


PostHeaderIcon Third Biennial Conference on Cetacean Conservation in South Mediterranean Countries

Third Biennial Conference on Cetacean Conservation in South Mediterranean Countries
Jounieh (Lebanon), 21 - 23 october 2014

Conference Objectives
The aim of the Biennial Conference is to assess the knowledge acquired on cetaceans in the South of the Mediterranean, identify potential gaps and stimulate the development of conservation actions in order to promote the implementation of the ACCOBAMS Agreement. This Conference will allow, through its regular organisation, cetacean specialists, active in the South of the Mediterranean, to exchange their experience and their data and to discuss the best approaches and priority actions for a better knowledge on cetacean populations in this region where data still remain sporadic and scarce. This Conference also aims at involving the student community and at rising awareness of future managers and stakeholders concerning marine issues.
The organisation of this Conference comes from a need expressed by the Scientific Community of South Mediterranean Countries.

Venue and Date
The Third Biennial Conference will take place in Jounieh (Lebanon), from 21st to 23rd October 2014.
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