The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


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Committee on Inspection and Observation

The Committee on Inspection and Observation provides advice on the Joint NAMMCO Control Scheme for the hunting of marine mammals and reports directly to Council. The Committee monitors the implementation of the Observation Scheme under the Joint NAMMCO Control Scheme and provides recommendations for improvements. The Rules of Procedure govern the functions of the Committee. Up until 2007 the Committee reported to the Management Committee. 

The Committee on Inspection and Observation comprises members appointed by the member nations. The Committee meets annually and reports from the meetings may be found here.

The current Chair is Ulla Svarrer Wang, (Faroe Islands) and the Vice-Chairmanship is held be Norway.

Ulla 1 03112011 Ulla Svarrer Wang (FO), Chair 



In 1993 the Working Group on Inspection and Observation was established with terms of reference " to consider inspection and observation schemes, in order to harmonize regulations, and thereby interalia ensure that data collected will be compatible" (Report of the 3rd meeting of Council 1 - 2 July 1993, page 6). It was noted that the terms of reference would apply, when appropriate, to all marine mammals relevant to NAMMCO.  

In 1997 the Working Group had finalized its work with the adoption of of the Provisions of the Joint NAMMCO Control Scheme for the hunting of marine mammals, and the first observers were contracted in 1998.   

In 1999, the Management Committee tasked an ad hoc Working Group with the mandate: ”to review the implementation of the Observation Scheme to examine practical and administrative matter requiring consideration and development, and seek better coordination of the observation activities.” 

The following recommendations were forwarded from the ad hoc Working Group and agreed to by the Management Committee at its meeting in September 2000:

  • that each member country provide the Secretariat with detailed information on hunting statistics, quotas, and time frames and places for the most optimum areas of observation.
  • that each member country provide the Secretariat with names of contact persons in each location, for the Secretariat and for the observers.
  • that general information about NAMMCO and about the Observation Scheme be given to the appropriate people and authorities in the member countries. This information should be translated to the local languages and distributed to local officials by the central authorities.
  • that the observation reports are short, concise and formal. They should only contain information on time frame, type of instruction prior to observation, area, violations, and the type of observation activity.
  • that the observers were made anonymous before the reports are published.
  • that comments by each member country to the respective reports must be received by the Secretariat within a month after the reports are issued. 

It was also decided to reconstitute the members of the Working Group as an ad hoc Committee to monitor and give recommendations for improvements of the Observation Scheme on an annual basis. Going from being labeled an ad hoc Committee via sub-committee it is presently the Committee on Inspection and Observation. Since 2007 the Committee has reported to Council and not to the Management Committee.