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Marine mammal conservation

Research undertaken by the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU) focused on accurately measuring marine mammal populations and distributions in the UK and EU waters. 

The research resulted in important changes in marine policy at the local, national and international levels from 2008 to 2013. Policy has been informed and underpinned by the research carried out by the SMRU. 

Examples of changes in marine policy resulting from this research include:

  • enabling effective conservation of marine mammals in UK, EU and international waters
  • defining UK and EU policy objectives for marine mammal conservation
  • delivering UK obligations arising from EU legal instruments
  • reducing marine mammal bycatch by over 90% in key fisheries.

This work, together with connected public outreach, was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2011 for excellence in research supporting better governance of the ocean.