Speaking up for the little guys – WDC in action
Whales and dolphins face so many dangers. These intelligent beings are crucial for the wellbeing of the ocean and therefore our planet. If their future is in jeopardy, then so is ours. These threats affect not only the giants – celebrated species like humpback whales, but also the smaller species that we maybe hear less about.
That’s why we’re participating in a meeting where countries come together to agree ways to protect dolphins, porpoises and the smaller whales.
What is the meeting?
Next week, we’re headed to Bonn in Germany for the annual meeting of a group with a very long name: the Agreement for the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of (Northern) Europe, or ASCOBANS as it’s known. ‘Cetaceans’ is the collective term for whales, dolphins and porpoises, and ‘small cetaceans’ are the dolphins, porpoises and small whales – everyone except the great whales really.
Essentially, it’s a group of northern European countries who come together annually to address the threats facing dolphin, porpoise and small whale species. These threats include pollution, underwater noise and, above all, their biggest killer – accidental entanglement in fishing gear, or ‘bycatch’. The Advisory Committee includes organisations like WDC and it meets to discuss the steps needed to address these issues, the research that has been carried out and the progress of measures that have already been adopted. Together, the participating countries commit to taking concrete actions to improve the conservation of these small but magnificent beings.