The Sister Sanctuary Program, managed by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, was established in 2006 to facilitate the effective management of a shared population of humpback whales across jurisdictional boundaries throughout its migratory range, from feeding and nursery grounds in the Gulf of Maine to breeding and calving areas in the Wider Caribbean region.
International cooperation activities
Best Practices for Collecting Marine Mammal Abundance Data Aboard Oceanic Surveys Workshop
The U.S. Government, through the NMFS, the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission, and other Federal agencies, undertakes a number of research projects on cetaceans in U.S. waters and overseas. NMFS also collaborates with non-U.S. scientists on a wide variety of cetacean research activities.
Based on the Partnership between the French MPA Agency and the French Austral Territory, this program is aiming at defining important ecological areas, particularly for top predator such as marine mammals, and new MPAs in the Crozet (planning domain 5) and Kerguelen (planning domain 6) areas as well as in the East Antarctica planning domain. A first proposal for a representative system of MPAs in East Antarctica has been presented jointly by France and Australia, since 2012 at annual meetings of the Commission CAMLR.
France is a member state of the International Whaling Commission, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the convention on biodiversity (CBD) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Beside Pelagos, France is a member state of the ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS agreements for the protection of cetaceans in European seas, under the Convention for the protection of Migratory Species (CMS). In September 2006, France has signed the Memorandum of Understanding for the conservation on cetaceans and their habitats in the Pacific islands region, also under the CMS.
Gabon became a contracting party to CITES in 1989 and became a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) in 2008. Gabon signed the CMS Memorandum of Understanding Concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and Small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia in 2008.
New Zealand is party to a number of multilateral agreements related to cetaceans (in addition to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling) including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS).
The Brazilian Government is party to multilateral agreements related to cetaceans, besides the IWC, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The Government of Brazil participates as Observer in the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and has signed a Letter of Intentions to this agreement. Potential benefits of such agreements include conservation efforts to protect southern right whales and franciscana dolphin.