Through this Pacific Cetaceans MoU, the Pacific Islands Region seeks to foster cooperation, build capacity and ensure coordinated region-wide conservation for cetaceans and their habitats, as well as to safeguard the cultural values cetaceans have for the people of the Pacific Islands. An important part of this work is close cooperation and collaboration with CMS’s key regional partner - SPREP.
Cetacean migration routes pass through the coastal waters of various countries and territories as well as the high seas. The Pacific Cetaceans MoU provides an intergovernmental framework for governments, scientists and other groups to monitor and coordinate ongoing and necessary conservation efforts.
In the spirit of such cooperation, the SPREP Marine Species Programme and the Pacific Cetaceans MoU share an action plan - the Whale and Dolphin Action Plan 2008-2012.
Whale and Dolphin Action Plan 2008-2012
Numerous programmes are already underway and support the Pacific Cetaceans MoU’s implementation. Countries have looked to standardize how they report and collect data from stranded cetaceans. Studies have been undertaken to look at the interactions between cetaceans and commercial fishing. Educational programmes have helped connect local communities to conservation efforts.
Cetaceans are vulnerable to getting tangled in plastic debris and there have been documented cases of cetaceans mistaking plastic bags for food, which can be lethal. Several governments have reacted to the “plastic plague” by banning importation of plastic bags and strengthening solid waste control plans.