The CetAMBICion project is a first step towards achieving a coordinated regional assessment of GES for cetaceans in the subregion Bay of Biscay and Iberian Coast. Until 2023, CetAMBICion will work to improve scientific knowledge on population abundance, incidental bycatch and on mitigation measures of the latter.

The project aims to contribute to reduce cetacean bycatch in the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian coast, in collaboration with the fishing industry.

In addition, its objectives also include collecting and analysing the information reported by each Member State under the EU legal obligations, identifying gaps and common approaches, and providing a summary of solutions (new or already developed in other regions or sub-regions).

The project will provide the necessary scientific expertise and capacity to deal with the issue of cetacean bycatch and it will provide the institutional capacity needed to conduct the regular assessment of cetacean populations and habitat use and thus take a decisive step forward towards the achievement of GES in the sub-region. This will be achieved by way of:

• Setting up a cooperative working structure that brings together the MSFD and Natura 2000 and Fisheries competent authorities of Spain, France and Portugal, as well as the best scientific expertise available, to obtain a coordinated GES assessment and monitoring scheme for cetaceans in the subregion Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast.

• Supporting the establishment of sub-regionally coordinated measures for cetaceans, where needed.

• Promoting coordinated implementation of the Programme of Measures (PoM) to upgrade the effectiveness of measures adopted to reduce pressures and improve the status of species and the condition of their habitat.