Legislative instrument details: ASCOBANS

Legal name Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas
Short name ASCOBANS
CELEX reference
Identification number
Issued by United Nations Environment Programme
URL to issuer http://www.unep.org
Parent legislative instrument Bonn Convention / CMS
Valid from 29/03/1994
Abstract The purpose of ASCOBANS is to promote close co-operation "in order to achieve and maintain a favourable conservation status for small cetaceans" in the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (Article 2(1)). (Small cetaceans are defined as any species, subspecies or population of toothed whales (Odontoceti), except the sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus).) The principal measures by which this objective is to be achieved are outlined in the Conservation and Management Plan, which appears as an Annex to the Agreement, and which requires Parties, inter alia: to endeavour to establish the prohibition under international law on the intentional taking and killing of small cetaceans and the obligation to release immediately any animals caught alive and in good health; to reduce pollution harmful to small cetaceans; to modify fishing gear and practices in order to reduce by-catches and prevent gear from being abandoned or discarded at sea; to regulate activities which seriously affect the food sources of small cetaceans; to prevent significant disturbance (e.g. seismic testing, whale-watching) to small cetaceans; to carry out population surveys and research into the causes of their decline; and, to carry out improved reporting of by-catches and strandings, to be collected in an international database.
Reporting framework
Reporting obligations
Geographic scope Baltic and North Seas
EC entry into force
EC accession
Convention secretariat UNEP/ASCOBANS Secretariat (in Bonn, Germany)