Spain, France and Portugal launch a coordinated strategy for assessing, monitoring and mitigating impacts on cetaceans

Spain, France and Portugal have launched the European project “Coordinated strategy for the assessment, monitoring and management of cetaceans in the sub-region of the Bay of Biscay and Iberian coast” (CetAMBICion). This initiative, coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and which includes 15 partners from the three European countries, aims to strengthen collaboration... Read more »

Spain, France and Portugal have launched the European project “Coordinated strategy for the assessment, monitoring and management of cetaceans in the sub-region of the Bay of Biscay and Iberian coast” (CetAMBICion).

This initiative, coordinated by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and which includes 15 partners from the three European countries, aims to strengthen collaboration and scientific work between the three countries to estimate and reduce cetacean bycatch. Among the actions to be developed until 2023, technical measures to limit these interactions will be identified and agreed upon.

In Spain, the partners involved are the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the Secretary of State for Environment and Fundación Biodiversidad from Ministry for The Ecological Transition and the Demographic challenge, as well as the General Secretariat for Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA). The project partners also include the Spanish Institute of Oceanography and AZTI.

In France, the University of La Rochelle, the Ministry of Ecological Transition and the French Biodiversity Agency are represented as partners.

Portugal participates by way of Directorate General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services; the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere; the Portuguese Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests; the Interdisciplinary Centre for Marine and Environmental Research and the University of the Algarve.

The project is part of the European Commission’s DG ENV/MSFD 2020 (Marine Strategy Framework Directive) call and is also being developed in line with the requirements of the Habitats Directive and the Common Fisheries Policy.

Scientific knowledge on cetaceans

Among the priority species on which the project will focus are the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus).

CetAMBICion will further scientific knowledge regarding the abundance, demographic characteristics, pattern distribution, mortality rates and habitat of cetaceans in the study area.

In addition, it will contribute to the improvement of their monitoring and tracking, especially in relation to the impact of incidental catches, and will investigate the effectiveness of different mitigation measures in the Bay of Biscay and the Iberian Coast subregion, which will help to achieve a Good Environmental Status. This will be undertaken in close collaboration with the fishing sector.