20 Nov 2010

ACCOBAMS – 4th Meeting of Parties

Fourth Meeting of Contracting Parties to ACCOBAMS (Agreement on the Conservation of Cetacean of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area) took place between 9th and 12th November 2010 in Monaco. Albert II, the Prince of Monaco, officially opened the meeting. The Slovenian government appointed a delegation to attend the meeting. The delegation consisted of Andrej Bibic (Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning) and Tilen Genov (Morigenos). Ana Hace participated as an observer and a representative of Morigenos, an ACCOBAMS partner organization.

This occasion was also marked by a newly published book called »Conserving Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises in the Mediterranean and Black Seas«, authored by Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara and Alexei Birkun. Among other things, the book includes a photo of the humpback whale off the Slovenian coast, donated by Tilen Genov from Morigenos. We were also proud to see that photos of dolphins in Slovenia, donated by Morigenos, were included in some of the other publications by ACCOBAMS.

Slovenia reported on the implementation of the Agreement in Slovenia and actively participated in some important discussions. Portugal and Spain submitted a proposal for the extension of the geographical scope of the Agreement, which was supported by other parties. The Agreement area therefore now also includes the entire coasts of Portugal and Spain. The new name (although very similar) is now »Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Neighbouring Atlantic Area«. Nevertheless, the conservation of cetaceans in the Mediterranean and Black Seas is progressing too slow and often inefficiently. This is especially evident when it comes to Mediterranean short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), which are not doing too well at the moment. Let us hope that in the next three years the parties to ACCOBAMS will adopt and implement measures which they have pledged to implement and which will contribute to a better conservation of biological diversity in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.

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