From the 8th - 10th April the European Cetacean Society (ECS) held its 32nd annual conference, this year in La Spezia, Italy. The ECS aims to promote and advance research and conservation efforts of marine mammals, and to disseminate information about different species and current research to members of the Society and a wider audience. The theme for this year's conference was 'Marine Conservation - forging effective, strategic partnerships'.
It was the perfect opportunity for MARINElife Conservation Science Manager, Rachel Davies, to talk about recent work we have been doing, investigating seasonality in North Sea marine mammals' distribution and relative abundance over the last decade, using data collated from European Cetacean Monitoring Coalition (ECMC) partners operating in this region; MARINElife, ORCA, and Rugvin Foundation, supported by Natural England. Plus, considering survey coverage and further work needed in this region.
These conferences are a fantastic opportunity to learn about different research and techniques taking place all over Europe, and present our own recent projects. Amongst the ~200 abstracts presented at this year's meeting was also a poster presentation provided by Conor Aynsley from the Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit (CRRU), co-authored by Per Bergrren (Newcastle University), Martin Kitching (MARINElife - NECP), Rachel Davies (MARINElife), and Kevin Robinson (CRRU); on a preliminary photo-identification study of the individual bottlenose dolphins using the Northumberland coastline in northeast England. To which, MARINElife have contributed images from our NECP small boat survey programme coordinated by Martin Kitching off the northeast coast.
It was also great to see the study by Rebecca Dudley through the South West Bottlenose Dolphin Consortium presented, introducing England's only resident bottlenose dolphin population, and to which MARINElife has contributed data and images, and is a partner.