The winner of the CMS Thesis Award in 2008 was Dr Samantha Petersen of South Africa for her work entitled ‘Understanding and Mitigating Vulnerable Bycatch in southern African Trawl and Longline Fisheries’. By-catch is a major concern to CMS as it affects a number of migratory species including albatrosses and petrels, marine turtles, sharks and cetaceans.
The winners of the 2015 AEWA Waterbird Conservation Award are: l’Association Inter-Villageoise du Ndiaël (the inter-village association of the Ndiaël) in the institutional category and Abdoulaye N’Diaye in the individual category. The Association Inter-Villageoise du Ndiaël was established in 2004 and brings together 32 villages surrounding the special wildlife reserve of the Ndiaël. Based in Ross-Béthio, Senegal, it has 800 members and its main aim is to allow local communities to carry out activities that aim to restore the wildlife living in the reserve. With an area of 46,550 hectares, Ndiaël is a Ramsar site and a central hub of the transborder Senegal River Delta biosphere reserve. It has also been identified as a critical site for migratory waterbirds, in the framework of the Critical Sites Network (CSN) Tool.
Promoting public awareness is an essential element of conservation work and an area in which ASCOBANS has an important role to play. Unless people are convinced that porpoises are present in their local waters, that these creatures are worth saving, and that the animals’ existence is threatened, they are not likely to support recovery efforts.