Places are still left for the ACCOBAMS/ASCOBANS workshop “Conserving Cetaceans in
the Seas around Europe through Synergy-building between the Relevant Legislative Frameworks”. It will be held on 12 March in Funchal, Madeira.

The Workshop aims to assess critically the gaps and overlaps between the many frameworks relevant for cetacean conservation (Habitats Directive (HD) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), ASCOBANS, HELCOM, OSPAR, ACCOBAMS, Barcelona Convention, Bucharest Convention, CMS, CBD, IWC), and to identify synergies that can be expected to help take forward cetacean conservation in an integrated and effective manner.

Please find the announcement of the ECS website here.

NMFS Publishes Bowhead Whale Quota

The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service NMFS has published its aboriginal subsistence whaling quota for bowhead whales. NMFS has assigned this quota to the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission. This assignment includes limitations on the use of the quota deriving from regulations of the International Whaling Commission.

For 2016, the quota is 75 bowhead whales struck. This quota and other applicable limitations govern the harvest of bowhead whales by members of the AEWC.

Click here to read more about this quota.

Underwater Acoustics Courses in Sweden

Seiche Training is holding two underwater acoustics courses in association with University of Bath, UK, and CPD-recognized by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

The first course is UNDERWATER ACOUSTICS IN THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT, on March 30 through April 1, 2016, in Stockholm, Sweden. This three-day course equips delegates with a thorough knowledge of the fundamentals of underwater acoustics. It then focuses on developing clear, quantitative understanding of the issues involved in the impact of acoustics on marine wildlife. The following topics will be covered: ocean environments, noise propagation models, sound field modelling, methods of assessment, impacts of noise on marine life, mitigation, environmental regulations and Environmental Impact Assessments, fisheries, JNCC guidelines and emerging studies and technologies across this field.

APHIS Proposes Amendments to Captive Marine Mammal Rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service seeks public comment on proposed rules that amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations concerning the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of marine mammals in captivity. These proposed changes would affect sections in the regulations relating to variances and implementation dates, indoor facilities, outdoor facilities, space requirements, and water quality. APHIS also proposes to revise the regulations that relate to swim-with-the-dolphin programs. APHIS states its belief that these actions are necessary to ensure that the minimum standards for the humane handling, care, treatment, and transportation of marine mammals in captivity are based on current industry and scientific knowledge and experience. APHIS will consider all comments on this proposed rule that it receives on or before April 4, 2016.