Introduction to the AC

The Advisory Committee is a subsidiary body to the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS), which was established in accordance with Article 5 of the Agreement. The Advisory Committee has the general function, as set out in the Agreement text, to provide expert advice and information to the Secretariat and the Parties on the conservation and management of small cetaceans and on other matters in relation to the running of the Agreement, having regard not to duplicate the work of other international bodies and the desirability of drawing on their expertise.


In practice, this means that the AC

  • reviews new scientific information on conservation status, population size, structure, distribution and causes for any changes

  • reviews new information on threats to small cetaceans and makes recommendations on how to address them

  • recommends research priorities and facilitates coordination of research on small cetaceans, and evaluates the results of such research and its implications for the work of the Agreement

  • reviews the implementation of the Agreement’s work plan and gives guidance for its further implementation


The Advisory Committee membership comprises:  

  • Advisory Committee Members (each ASCOBANS Party may appoint one, and an Alternate when appropriate)

  • Advisers to the AC Members

  • Observers (representatives of IGOs, NGOs, research institutions or individuals qualified in cetacean conservation and management)

The Advisory Committee and its working groups may invite additional experts to take part in their work.


Technical and administrative support for the Advisory Committee and its working groups is provided by the ASCOBANS Secretariat.