Cetacean MOU Signatories Meet to Address Threats to Dolphins and Whales

8 September 2012: Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation of Cetaceans and their Habitats in the Pacific Islands Region (Pacific Cetaceans MOU) held their third meeting on 8 September 2012, in Noumea, New Caledonia, addressing the threats facing whales and dolphins in the Pacific Islands Region.

With support from representatives of collaborating organizations and country observers, the Signatories endorsed a recovery plan for the endangered humpback whale population in Oceania, and adopted a five-year Action Plan (2013-2017) for the MOU, which sets priorities for addressing the threats faced by this species, as well as increasing capacity and public awareness in the region. Through a correspondence process, the Signatories will identify ways to facilitate implementation of the actions with highest priority, including by linking this regional initiative to processes at global level for the conservation of migratory species under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

Cooperation between CMS and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) was viewed as critical for successful implementation of the Pacific Cetaceans MOU. Signatories also welcomed the activities of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to the MOU, as established in 2009 and coordinated by the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS).

The Pacific Cetaceans MOU was concluded in 2006 under the auspices CMS with support from SPREP. Signatories of the MOU include: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, France (including French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna), Federated States of Micronesia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom (for Pitcairn Is) and Vanuatu. [CMS Press Release]