The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


Upcoming events:


Working Groups

In addition to the Annual Meeting, the Scientific Committee has had a number of Working Groups (WGs) over the years that address specific issues as needed. External experts may be invited to these specialist working groups in order to acquire the best possible knowledge. Reports from WGs can be found within the Scientific Committee reports.

Joint Working Groups

The NAMMCO Scientific Committee works with other organisations on matters of mutual scientific interest. For example, the Scientific Committee has special Joint Scientific Working Group meetings with the Joint Commission on Narwhal and Beluga (JCNB) between Canada and Greenland and is part of ICES/NAFO working group on harp and hooded seals (WGHARP). In addition, in March 2006 the Scientific Committee also held a joint working group meeting with the IWC on fin whales. 

Recent Working Group Meetings

- The Coastal Seals Working Group met 1-4 March 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Terms of Reference for the meeting were 

  • assess the status of all populations, particularly using new abundance estimate data that are available from Iceland and Norway. 

  • address by-catch issues in Norway, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands

  • re-evaluate the Norwegian management plans (which have been already implemented) for grey and harbour seals.

  • develop specific plans for monitoring grey seals in the Faroes, e.g., obtaining a relative series of abundance (if a full abundance estimate is not possible at this time).

The report from the meeting will be available soon after the Scientific Committee's annual meeting in November 2016.

- The By-Catch Working Group met 29 February 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland. This was a planning meeting which focused on planning the work of the NAMMCO BYCWG, its modus operandi and a future meeting, as well as advising on a chair. The report from the meeting will be available soon after the Scientific Committee's annual meeting in November 2016.

Future WG meetings

The following meetings are planned in 2016 and 2017. The meetings are open only to members of the NAMMCO Scientific Committee, and Invited Experts.

  • Large Whale Assessment Working Group: fall 2016, to update the assessments for fin, humpback and minke whales

  • Abundance Estimates Working Group: fall 2016, to review the analyses developed from NASS2015 data

  • ICES/NAMMCO/NAFO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals: fall 2016, to update the assessments for harp and hooded seals

  • The Joint NAMMCO/JCNB Working Group on Narwhal and Beluga: spring 2017, to update the assessments for the shared narwhal and beluga stocks between Canada and Greenland

  • Global Review of Monodontids: this meeting will be held in conjunction with the NAMMCO/JCNB Joint Working Group in spring 2017. The main goals of this meeting will be to 1) share current scientific knowledge on the status of each stock, 2) identify the main gaps in knowledge, 3) identify key threats to each stock, and 4) outline possible areas of scientific cooperation.