12 February 2013 - The United States’ National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Department of Commerce/NOAA)
and the Secretariat of the Convention on Migratory Species
(CMS) have signed a renewed Letter of Cooperation (LOC)
aimed at continuing collaboration in the conservation
and management of migratory marine species and their habitats.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans
and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, and Bert Lenten,
CMS Deputy Executive Secretary and Officer in Charge, signed
the Letter at the United States Embassy in London, United
Kingdom, on 12 February 2013. Shannon Dionne and Alexis
Gutierrez, NOAA officers involved in development of the
LOC were also present at the signing.
The Letter of Cooperation outlines collaborative objectives that are in line with CMS’ goals to facilitate the conservation of threatened and endangered migratory species through international partnerships and NOAA’s strategic plan to protect, restore, and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach.
Under the terms of the renewed LOC, NOAA and CMS will cooperate on a range of activities -- such as identifying opportunities to develop and implement collaborative programs, enhancing communication and increasing public knowledge, exchanging scientific information and sharing advice and support, and engaging in research, training and capacity building pertaining to the conservation of migratory marine species.
Specific work already identified to occur under the renewed LOC includes exchanging information on sharks; working to develop mitigation strategies to reduce cetacean bycatch; training volunteers to respond to marine mammal stranding and entanglement events; and collaborating on planning and preparing for the Third International Conference on Marine Mammal Protected Areas scheduled to take place in Australia in 2014.
Dr. Lubchenco commented that under the last Letter of Cooperation, NOAA’s engagement with CMS activities has increased and that now the United States is Signatory to three CMS MOUs, related to marine turtles, sharks, and cetaceans. She said that she is personally confident that NOAA’s and CMS’s successes in managing and conserving migratory marine animals will continue to be frequent and significant.
Mr. Lenten indicated that NOAA has played an instrumental role in moving forward conservation goals for migratory species such as sharks. “The increasing involvement of NOAA and the U.S. Department of State in the conservation of migratory marine species be it marine turtles, cetaceans or sharks, is highly appreciated by CMS. Only when the international community joins forces, will migratory species have a promising future,” said Mr. Lenten.