From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

ACCOBAMS, the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans in the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area is ‘a cooperative tool for the conservation of marine biodiversity in the Mediterranean and Black Seas’.[1]

ACCOBAMS aims to reduce threats to cetaceans in Mediterranean and Black Sea waters and improve our knowledge of these animals, and is the first Agreement binding the countries in the two subregions, enabling them to work together on a matter of general interest.[1] ACCOBAMS was concluded in the auspices of Convention on Migratory Species in 1996 and entered into force in 2001.


Meeting of the Parties[edit]

The Meeting of the Parties is the decision-making body of the Agreement. Ordinary sessions of the Meeting of the Parties occur at intervals of not more than three years, unless the Meeting of the Parties decides otherwise. The United Nations, its Specialized Agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency, any State not a Party to this Agreement, secretariats of other global and regional conventions or agreements concerned inter alia with the conservation of cetaceans, and regional or subregional fisheries management organizations with competence for species found temporarily or permanently resident in the Agreement area may be represented by observers in sessions of the Meeting of the Parties. .[2]


The ACCOBAMS Permanent Secretariat performs the functions listed in Article IV of the Agreement. For example, it arranges and services the sessions of the Meeting of the Parties, facilitates co-operation between Parties and non-Party Range States, assists the Parties in the implementation of the Agreement, administers the budget. The Permanent Secretariat is hosted by the Principality of Monaco.[3]


Bureau provides general policy guidance and operational and financial direction to the Agreement Secretariat and the Co-ordination Units concerning the implementation and promotion of the Agreement; carries out, between sessions of the Meeting of the Parties, such interim activities on its behalf as may be necessary or assigned to it by the Meeting of the Parties; represents the Parties vis-à-vis the Government(s) of the host country (or countries) of the Agreement Secretariat and the Meeting of the Parties, the Depositary and other international organizations on matters relating to the Agreement and its secretariat. The Bureau normally meets once per annum and provides a report on its activities for each session of the Meeting of the Parties.[4]

Scientific Committee[edit]

The Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS, composed of persons qualified as experts in cetacean conservation science, is an advisory body to the Meeting of the Parties. Its role and tasks are defined in the Article VII of the Agreement. The Scientific Committee usually meets every year. The meetings of the Committee provide an opportunity for the gathering of an increasingly large number of cetacean conservation experts from the Agreement area.[5]

Agreement Area[edit]

According to the Agreement Text, "The geographic scope of the Agreement, hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement area", is constituted by all the maritime waters of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean and their gulfs and seas, and the internal waters connected to or interconnecting these maritime waters, and of the Atlantic area contiguous to the Mediterranean Sea west of the Straits of Gibraltar. For the purpose of the Agreement: the Black Sea is bounded to the southwest by the line joining Capes Kelaga and Dalyan (Turkey); the Mediterranean Sea is bounded to the east by the southern limits of the Straits of the Dardanelles between the lighthouses of Mehmetcik and Kumkale (Turkey) and to the west by the meridian passing through Cape Spartel lighthouse, at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar; the contiguous Atlantic area west of the Strait of Gibraltar is bounded to the east by the meridian passing through Cape Spartel lighthouse and to the west by the line joining the lighthouses of Cape St. Vicente (Portugal) and Casablanca (Morocco).[6]

Member States[edit]

As of 2013, 23 countries—out of 28 Range States—are Parties to ACCOBAMS. The five non-Parties are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, the Russian Federation, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (the latter because of Gibraltar, which is a British overseas territory). The List of Parties (as of September 2011) with a date of accession is presented below.[7]


ACCOBAMS Partners include Organisations and Institutions technically qualified in Cetacean Conservation playing a significant role in the relevant activities of the Agreement.[8] The year when the partnership started is shown in the brackets.

  • Alnitak Marine Environment Research and Education centre (2007)
  • American Society of International Law – International Environmental Law Group (2002)
  • The Biological Conservation Research Foundation (BICREF) (2006)
  • Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation (2004)
  • Brema Laboratory (2002)
  • Conservación, Información e Investigación en Cetáceos (CIRCE) (2004)
  • Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) (2003)
  • European Cetacean Society (ECS) (2002)
  • Groupe de Recherche sur les Cétacés (GREC) (2005)
  • Israeli Marine Mammal Research and Assistance Center (IMMRAC) (2004)
  • International Fund for Animal Welfare (2004)
  • Istituto Centrale per la Ricerca Applicata al Mare (ICRAM) (2002)
  • Morigenos – Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Society (2005)
  • National Institute for Marine Research and Development „Grigore Antipa“ (2002)
  • Nature Trust (Malta) (2005)
  • OceanCare (2003)
  • Oceana (2007)
  • Oceanographic Museum of Monaco (2002)
  • Pelagos Cetacean Research Institute (2002)
  • Souffleurs d'Ecume (2007)
  • Spanish Cetacean Society (SEC) (2003)
  • Swiss Cetacean Society (SCS) (2002)
  • Syrian Society for the Conservation of Wildlife (SSCW) (2007)
  • Tethys Research Institute (2002)
  • University of Genoa – Biology Department (2005)
  • University of Malta – Conservation Biology Research Group (2005)
  • University of Valencia (2002)
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) (2004)
  • World Conservation Union (IUCN) (2004)
  • WWF Mediterranean Programme Office (2007)

Protected species[edit]

The following species are protected by ACCOBAMS, according to the Annex I of the Treaty:[9]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Accobams". 
  2. ^ ACCOBAMS – Meeting of the Parties
  3. ^ ACCOBAMS – Secretariat
  4. ^ ACCOBAMS-Bureau
  5. ^ ACCOBAMS - Scientific Committee
  6. ^ Geographic boundaries of the Agreement
  7. ^ ACCOBAMS – List of Contracting Parties and Signatories
  8. ^ ACCOBAMS – Partners (Accessed 4 May 2008)
  9. ^ Text of the ACCOBAMS-Agreement

External links[edit]