Abundance estimates and the means to monitor populations underpin any management framework aimed at regulating fisheries activities to reduce bycatch so that conservation objectives can be met. They also play an essential role in environmental impact assessments of other human activities that threaten cetacean populations. Bycatch remains a major source of mortality of cetaceans in European waters.
The results of the project will enable the impact of harbour porpoise bycatch to be assessed within European Atlantic waters, a high priority for ASCOBANS and a requirement under the EU Habitats Directive. It will also provide Member States with recommendations on how to monitor small cetacean populations to ensure that conservation objectives are met.