The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


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Hunting manuals

NAMMCOs focus is people’s right to utilise the natural resources under the prerequisite that the utilisation is sustainable and rational.

In 2010 NAMMCO convened an Expert Group meeting assessing whale killing data of large whales. One of the recommendations from this meeting was to develop a user’s manual for hunting. The aim was to ensure efficient hunting and killing that would maximise the safety of the hunters and also minimise animal suffering. External financial support was granted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA). The work was finalised in February 2015.

The target groups are whalers, inspectors and wildlife officers, observers and others engaged in whaling. Manufactures of weapons and whalers have been consulted during the process and have contributed with valuable input. The manuals are however the direct responsibility of the Committee on Hunting Methods. 

Three different manuals have been made covering the different hunting methods used by the whalers in the NAMMCO member countries, and they are available in the following languages: 


Manual on maintenance and use of weaponry and equipment deployed in hunting of baleen whales in NAMMCO member countries 

Manual on pilot whaling 

Manual on small whale hunting in Greenland 



Whaling operations are complex and can be unpredictable; following these guidelines does not necessarily guarantee personal safety, a successful hunt, or operation in accordance with national rules and regulations (permits and/or letters of authorisation). All responsibility is upon the hunters to undertake safe activities under their best judgment. NAMMCO and the authors of this document are not liable for any actions taken as a result of these manuals.