Three Member States gathered under the framework of the European Defence Agency to launch a project aimed at developing European navies’ knowledge of marine mammals activity while mitigating the adverse effect of military operations on these species.
The formal signature of a technical agreement is expected for the 2nd semester of 2015. With a planned total budget of €1,5 million, the project is led by Germany with participation from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The main objective of the PoMM2 (Protection of Marine Mammals 2) project is to establish a common risk assessment methodology and evaluate mitigation procedures regarding the potential adverse effect of naval operations on marine mammals. For instance, the use of active sonars or underwater explosions in anti-submarine warfare operations has previously been linked with strandings of whales. Developing knowledge-based risk-mitigation measures and precautionary restrictions on the use of certain military systems could help reduce this adverse effect while developing European navies’ knowledge of marine mammals.
This new project is a follow-up to the original PoMM study carried out between 2010 and 2013 under an EDA framework. It helped establish an initial marine mammal database of 126 different species which will serve as a basis for the common risk-assessment methodology to be developed as part of PoMM2.
Picture credit: Patrick Hawks / Wikimedia Commons