The purpose of this joint workshop is to enable different expert research teams to compare approaches for modelling populations of a range of northern phocid species with similar life histories, focusing on species for which abundance estimates are fundamentally based on pup counts. The genesis for this workshop was a recommendation in 2019 by the ICES/NAFO/NAMMCO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals (WGHARP), who recommended that ICES and/or NAMMCO convene a workshop on population assessment models for seals in the North Atlantic to advance model development with respect to uncertainty in fecundity and other input parameters. Techniques developed in this workshop will help inform future ICES benchmark meetings intended to review and improve assessment methodology.
Meeting documents for this workshop are available on the ICES Sharepoint site.
3-7 December 2018, Tromsø, Norway
This international workshop on the Status of Harbour Porpoises in the North Atlantic was organised by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and NAMMCO, in cooperation with scientists from the Sea Mammal Research Unit (UK), NEFSC-NOAA Fisheries (US), Fisheries and Oceans (Canada), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland), and the University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden).
The North Atlantic harbour porpoise is subject to increasing anthropogenic activities, including directed and incidental removals, noise and chemical pollution and other anthropogenic disturbances, as well as effects from climate and environmental changes. The goal of the workshop was to update the 1999 NAMMCO review, taking into account the 2008 IUCN assessment, and report on the conservation status of the North Atlantic harbour porpoise population(s). This current review will outline knowledge gaps and will provide recommendations for monitoring and research priorities for future assessments in this region.
The aims of the workshop were:
– to identify the appropriate assessment units (populations/sub-populations/ecological stocks/management units/assessment units) for harbour porpoises in the North Atlantic and/or knowledge gaps for doing so
And for each assessment unit:
– review information on distribution, abundance, directed and incidental catches, and life history parameters, in order to determine if it reaches the threshold for conducting a quantitative assessment
– identify knowledge gaps and define research priorities and opportunities to cooperate to assess the conservation status within each unit, as well as monitoring requirements within each unit.
28-29 October 2017, Halifax, Canada
1. To generate a set of North Atlantic wide abundance estimates for 2015/16 for those cetacean species for which sufficient data are available.
Species to include: minke whale, fin whale, humpback whale, pilot whale, sperm whale, whitebeaked dolphin, white-sided dolphin, common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise, beaked/bottlenose whales? others?
Estimates will be design-based, corrected for g(0) (if possible and if appropriate), and have appropriate measures of precision.
Outcomes: a complete set of estimates or, more likely, an incomplete set of estimates and an action plan to achieve a complete set in timely fashion.
2. To discuss modelling the spatial and temporal distribution and habitat use of cetaceans in the North Atlantic using data from 2015/16.
Discussions to include: the most important and available variables to inform modelling; the merits or otherwise of modelling the entire northern North Atlantic; the challenges of
combining multiple datasets from different projects/platforms/methodologies; logistics of making this happen (who, how funded, when, etc); other?
Outcomes: an action plan for moving forward.
Participants List (coming soon)
Distribution/abundance information for the Workshop
Map of recently surveyed areas (coming soon)