Extended Southern Ocean IMMA Workshop Abbreviated Executive Summary
The workshop was held in Brest, France, at the Hotel Le Continental, from 15 to 19 October 2018, in cooperation with the Agence française pour la biodiversité and the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Program. A provisional report of this workshop can be downloaded from here. This was the fourth Important Marine Mammal Area workshop and focussed on the Southern Ocean from Antarctica extending to the Subantarctic Islands in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The Task Force engaged twenty marine mammal scientists and two observers from eleven countries. Together they identified and mapped a total of 15 candidate Important Marine Mammal Areas (cIMMAs), accompanied by concise profiles, proposing boundaries and detailing how each proposal meets one or more of the eight IMMA criteria and subcriteria. In addition, four areas of interest (AoI) were retained as potential future IMMAs pending further research and consideration. A further four AoI were deferred for a future workshop as they were outside the region’s boundaries. Sites include habitats for humpback, minke, blue, southern right and fin whales as well as crabeater, leopard, Weddell, Ross, southern fur and southern elephant seals, New Zealand sea lions and several killer whale ecotypes. The review of the candidate IMMAs is currently being undertaken by the expert Review Panel and the final approved IMMAs will be announced shortly.