From October 16 – 18, the Marine Mammal Twinning hosted its final partners workshop, in collaboration with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary in Scituate (MA), United States of America.

In total, over 15 MPA managers, marine mammal experts, and researchers, representing 6 countries (USA, France, Mexico, Iceland, UK and Bermuda), convened for a packed 3 days of rich discussion. The workshop focused on the achievements and outputs of the Twinning and the Marine Mammals Management Toolkit as well as the Toolkit’s sustainability and legacy. The partners also sailed to Stellwagen Bank where they were joined by at least 5 humpback whales and calves, and had the opportunity to directly engage with Whale Watching outreach and engagement staff.

Continuing the discussions around legacy the Partners and Twinning team drafted a clear roadmap of activities until the end of 2023 and 2024 to ensure the Toolkit maximises its impact for the benefit of partners, managers, and marine mammals.

The Twinning partners were also joined by 7 local high school students to exchange and discuss the conservation of marine mammals, as well as for a screening of the newly released movie “Collision” by Ocean Soul Films, directed by Philip Hamilton.

The workshop concluded with a marine mammal knowledge exchange between the Partners, Stellwagen Staff, and online participants to discuss some of the key threats facing marine mammals and the solutions implemented by Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and other Marine Protected Areas around the world: Ship StrikesNoise PollutionEntanglementWhale Watching. The exchange welcomed over 75 online participants, 9 Stellwagen staff, and the Twinning partners.

Marking the final workshop, the Twinning and Ocean Governance team would like to express our sincere gratitude for the commitment of all the partners and collaborators throughout the Twinning’s timeline, as well as their continued commitment for the conservation, management, and protection of marine mammals.