In December 2019, the World Marine Mammal Conference, co-hosted by the European Cetacean Society and the Society for Marine Mammalogy, took place in Barcelona, Spain. Marine Acoustic Technician Raffaela Falkner reports on the conference and tells us of the key messages relating to marine conservation in 2020.

In December 2019, the World Marine Mammal Conference, co-hosted by the European Cetacean Society and the Society for Marine Mammalogy, took place in Barcelona, Spain.

The goal of this conference was to bring together scientists, managers, policymakers, educators and students to discuss science and key pressing conservation issues.

Over 2640 people from 95 countries involved in marine mammal science and conservation attended the conference. The conference week was filled with 627 talks and 1077 posters, providing a platform for sharing research and conservation initiatives.

There are many challenges ahead of us as threats to marine mammals are largely from human impacts, including accidental capture in fishing gear, habitat destruction, poaching, pollution, harassment, and ship strikes.

Protecting our oceans is now more important than ever. It is time to collaborate with each other and work towards protecting our oceans together.

The World Marine Mammal Conference was used to launch a message of consensus for the study and protection of marine mammals in the coming years, the Barcelona Declaration - Together for Marine Mammal Science and Conservation.

The World Marine Mammal Conference brings together leaders in the field from every continent. The gathering of interdisciplinary experts enables discussion among marine mammal scientists and policy makers, enhancing collaboration and training the next generation of scientists and practitioners, and is a key opportunity to foster international partnerships and collaborations.

Find out more about the 2019 conference here.

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