No regional HELCOM indicator(s) that address harbour porpoise abundance and distribution currently exist and development in time for HOLAS III is expected to be limited in scope and spatial extent. This clear gap was identified as a high priority for the HELCOM region (as addressed in the indicator work plan for marine mammals, as identified under document 4-20 at HOD 57-2019) and was consequently included in the HELCOM BLUES project, as a way to lay the foundation for a future status assessment of harbour porpoise, and apply a suitable assessment by HOLAS III (pending available data and methodologies).
Accordingly, a first open Meeting of the HELCOM BLUES Activity 2.4 on improved harmonisation between HELCOM and OSPAR regarding indicators for Harbour porpoise (HELCOM BLUES WS 2.4.1-2021) will be held online, on 26-27 April 2021. This Meeting will be technical workshop to bring together Experts from HELCOM and OSPAR, with the aim of the workshop being to:
• collate a summary on data availability.
• conclude on a viable methodology.
• propose a harmonised (across the regions) approach to assess trends in harbour porpoise abundance.
All the practical arrangements and resources required for planning this online event will be provided by HELCOM and the BLUES project.