CMS (Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals) is an international agreement between governments that coordinates the conservation and of migratory animals and their habitats. CMS brings together the governments that control the regions through which migratory animals pass (Range States) and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a species migratory range.

Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. Governments who have joined CMS (Parties) strive to protect these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each Party, CMS also promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.

Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, CMS encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional species agreements.

In this respect, CMS acts as a framework Convention. The agreements may range from legally binding treaties (called Agreements) to less formal instruments, such as Memoranda of Understanding, and can be adapted to the requirements of particular regions. The development of models tailored according to the conservation needs throughout the migratory range is a unique capacity to CMS.

Two key regional species agreements that OceanCare invests in are ACCOBAMS and ASCOBANS, but there are many more.

OceanCare has provided considerable technical information about marine noise mitigation, the Appendix I listing of Cuvier’s beaked whales, and the Appendix II listing of polar bears. OceanCare was also a core collaborating organisation in the development of Resolution 11.11: Enhancing the Relationship between the CMS Family and Civil Society.

Since 2016 OceanCare is an official partner organisation of CMS. The partnership provides an opportunity to work together on issues such as ocean noise, marine debris and aquatic bushmeat in a joint effort to better conserve aquatic and marine migratory species.