is a CMS Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic and North Sea.
The North Atlantic is an extremely diverse marine environment, covering an enormous stretch of ocean that extends from the tip of Africa to Iceland, Scandinavia and the frontier of the Arctic Circle. WDCS has been working through ASCOBANS, the first whales and dolphin agreement under Convention for Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), to address chronic problems of cetacean bycatch in European fisheries.
Bycatch is considered one of the most serious threats to cetacean populations in the ASCOBANS area. Marine pollution, noise pollution, habitat destruction, and competition with fisheries are further dangers.
The extent of the threat to small cetaceans in the ASCOBANS area is dramatically illustrated by the decline in the population of harbour porpoises in the Baltic Seas. The harbour porpoise is the most common cetacean species in the North Sea and the only native cetacean inhabiting the Baltic.ASCOBANS Recovery Plan for Harbour Porpoises in the Baltic Sea