Barcelona Declaration


Recognizing the unique momentum of the World Marine Mammal Conference 2019 hosted by the Society for Marine Mammalogy and the European Cetacean Society, and organized by SUBMON and the University of Barcelona, the Organizing Committee of the WMMC19 proposes this Barcelona Declaration – Together for Marine Mammal Science and Conservation as a legacy for the future to improve research, conservation, and education and to create synergy between scientist and society stakeholders.

This Declaration is a call for commitment to key principles, and a pledge to three specific goals, that will deliver profound benefits for all. We wish to leave a legacy that will positively impact marine mammal science and conservation worldwide, encourage new students to pursue marine mammal careers, and improve sustainable development economically, socially, and culturally.

The Barcelona Declaration – Together for Marine Mammal Science and Conservation – seeks to highlight what international collaborations among scientists and public and private sectors can achieve by working closely together, for the benefit of world marine mammal science and conservation as well as to the benefit of managers, policy-makers, governments and society.

Over the course of the conference, 750+ signatures were collected in-situ and 425 signatures were collected online after the conference!

Barcelona Declaration 

– adopted at the World Marine Mammal Conference, Barcelona 2019

The World Marine Mammal Conference brought together over 2,700 individuals from more than 90 countries to Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from 9-12 December 2019.

We, the undersigned, and our colleagues from across the globe who will sign online, commit ourselves to:

  • carry out the highest-quality scientific work,
  • share this work widely with the public at all levels through appropriate channels,
  • inspire and motivate the public to protect marine mammals and the environments they inhabit,
  • engage with policy-makers to ensure that management and conservation efforts are based upon the best available scientific information,
  • strengthen existing collaborations, and seek out new ones across disciplines and boundaries, and
  • mentor and support students to always creatively look towards the future.

These goals can only be achieved by a diverse and inclusive community of marine mammal scientists – one that invite the participation of people representing all races, nationalities, cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, ages, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, physical abilities, careers stages, and professional status.

The World Marine Mammal Conference comes at a critical time in the history of our planet – one of unprecedented anthropogenic impacts and consequent accelerating environmental change.  Our challenges are great – and our work to conserve marine mammals and their habitats is of utmost importance.  We specifically identify the following three goals to help address these needs.

Goal 1: To enhance conservation of marine mammals beyond national boundaries, in particular through Marine Protected Areas in the High Seas.

Goal 2: To enhance and strengthen international collaboration to (1) ensure consistent, high-quality response to stranded marine mammals globally, and (2) support conservation efforts for species under threat of extinction.

Goal 3: To use science, education and policy to reduce the deaths of marine mammals in fishery interactions, currently the greatest cause of human-induced mortality.