CIESMSince the mid-80s I have been a member of the Monaco-based International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea (CIESM), and participated to several of its congresses.

I have served from 1992 to 1994 as coordinator of the CIESM Marine Mammal Working Group, and again, from 2001 to present, as coordinator of the Marine Mammal Task Force. My tasks involved the organisation of initiatives to promote the advancement of marine mammal science in the Mediterranean, creating and maintaining a Mediterranean task force of experts in the field of marine mammal science, supporting CIESM Director General in achieving the goals of the Commission, and the provision of scientific support for the establishment of the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS.

In my capacity I have convened a workshop on cetacean conservation during the CIESM 36th Congress in Monte Carlo, in 2001. In 2004 I have organised, in cooperation with Frédéric Briand, CIESM Director General, CIESM Workshop 25, “Investigating the roles of cetaceans in marine ecosystems”, which was held in Venice from 28 to 31 January.

My participation to the activities of the CIESM 37th Congress (Barcelona, 7-11 June 2004) included the organisation and moderation of two round tables: (a) “Cetacean distribution – data collection and use”, to develop a scheme for the collection of cetacean sighting data, increase homogeneity of spatial and seasonal coverage, and facilitate the application of new data analysis and diffusion methods to generate web-based distribution maps; and (b) “Protecting the Mediterranean high seas and deep sea”, a cooperative effort between CIESM and IUCN, to review the challenges of identifying and protecting key areas representative of Mediterranean deep sea ecosystems on the basis of the latest scientific knowledge and available legal instruments.