Dr. Geneviève Desportes


Geneviève Desportes is since 2015 the General Secretary of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission, a regional agreement for the cooperation on the conservation, rational management and study of marine mammals in the North Atlantic. She works with marine mammals, mainly cetaceans, since 1981. She has been working for a variety of government, non-government, international and private organisations. Her main occupation has been the coordination of projects related to marine mammal biology and conservation. She was member of the NAMMCO Scientific Committee since its inception in 1992 to 2014 and chaired the Committee from 2005 to 2009. She worked as Coordinator of the North Sea Conservation Plan for Harbour Porpoises, under the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetacean of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Sea (ASCOBANS – CMS) from 2011-2014.


Building capacities in fishing communities, Mon 10:40

Sealing and Whaling and “blue growth”: Coherence or paradox?


International governance of marine resource use is facilitated around a novel concept – ‘blue growth’: “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”, which endorses the principles of low carbon, resource efficiency and social inclusion. Is excluding marine mammal resources from the discourse coherence or paradox? The presentation will explore the blue potential of North Atlantic marine mammal resources, based on their present conservation status and the exploitation footprint on the environment. As one example, the talk will focus on the EU seal ban, which has seriously decreased the revenue opportunities, both direct and indirect, for Greenlandic hunters – the situation being especially alarming in the smaller communities dependent on hunting – while it has no effect in reducing the number of seals killed, as the seal meat is the main purpose of the hunt while skins only represent a by-product, now unutilised.