Human activity from shipping and energy extraction to fishing and tourism inevitably impacts on the wildlife living in the oceans. All forms of wildlife are affected to varying degrees, but marine megafauna and migratory mammals are especially vulnerable. They are at risk from ship collisions, bycatch, habitat degradation and loss, underwater noise, introduction of disease and loss of food or prey.
These majestic mammals are sentinel or keystone species in ocean food chains – and in the public consciousness. Heightened concern about their future survival combined with growing number of threats calls for the creation of a new approach to marine mammal conservation and management.
Marine industries must adapt to minimise their collateral impacts on the environment in general and on marine life in particular. Marine science can steer industry towards changes in working practices and behaviours with the greatest positive impact. Meanwhile new technologies can be harnessed for tracking and more closely monitoring vulnerable species to make conservation programmes more effective. For all this happen, zoologists, conservationists, surveyors, technologists and industry and naval representatives need a forum to talk, to learn and to help each other.
The Marine Mammals Special Interest Group aims to bridge the divide between marine mammal conservation and engineering communities. High level objectives include:
Providing a forum for dialogue and raising awareness of crewing issues and professional development opportunities for a variety of roles in marine mammal consulting.
Contributing to the policy debates at government and intergovernmental organisations.
Developing professional standards for marine scientists working in an industrial setting.
If you want to get involved in our efforts to support marine mammal conservation and marine scientists in industry, register your interest in becoming a member of the committee by contacting .