So ASCOBANS is off and under way. About 10 minutes ago the 6th meeting fo Parties to ASCOBANS was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Bonn, Ulrich Hauschild, who reminded us that in 1966 a beluga whale swam up the Rhine and so Bonn has many real connections with cetaceans.
I see a large number of delegations around us, some of whom have come to try and achieve real conservation, and others who may be under pressure from cautious finance and fisheries ministries that may not wish to see any real commitments. Its a common situation that Environment ministries are given the task of achieving government commitments, but they can only do their jobs if equipped and resourced to achieve what Europe's public require and expect of them
WDCS s here to ensure that we an help Parties, but also to hold them to their obligations. We are looking for action on the conservation strategies for the species of the Baltic and North East Atlantic. We need to see progress and action on the continuing tragedy of fisheries bycatch and the increasing threat of noise, the latter point reiterated by Herr Hauschild with respect to the proliferation of wind farms.
So lets see what can be achieved. We shall keep you informed.