Virtual Workshop

Protecting Whales in a Changing Climate through MPA Collaboration

Identifying Research Needs and Planning for Effective Implementation

January 17-19, 2024, 8am-12pm PST (GMT -8)

Climate-related changes in oceanographic conditions such as marine heatwaves and persistent warming are impacting where whales feed and spend their time, often increasing conflict with human activity including transiting container ships and fishing activity, exacerbating these leading causes of mortality in vulnerable and reduced whale populations. Marine protected areas (MPAs), Indigenous-led conservation approaches and areas, and other effective conservation measures (OECMs), play a critical role in advancing stewardship, conservation and recovery of whale species by effectively reducing human impacts to whales. However, because whales are highly migratory, effective conservation requires international cooperation and the development of robust networks that are working from aligned goals and objectives.

With support from the Lenfest Ocean Program, the goal of this workshop is to strengthen partnerships across MPAs, Indigenous areas, and OECMS to set the stage for an effective network of protected areas and conservation measures that protect and conserve whales in a changing climate, with particular focus on ship strike impacts. Live interpretation in Spanish and French will be provided by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Topics will include:

  • Migratory corridors of endangered whales
  • Predicted climate impacts on whale distribution and density
  • Global hot spots for ship strike risk
  • Measures and resources to reduce ship strike risk

The intended audience for this workshop includes protected area managers, Indigenous conservation leaders, and policy-makers in North and Central America to learn perspectives and management measures implemented across the globe.

This is an invite-only workshop; please contact Sara.Hutto@noaa.gov with any recommended participants.

Image of three large whales swimming at the ocean surface and a large shipping container ship in the distance. Credit: Adam Ernster/Condor Express

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Thank you to our project funders and contributors!

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