The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


Upcoming events:



NAMMCO SC Workshop on Age Estimation in Monodontids 26-27 November 2011

The goal of this 2-day workshop which was held in the Tampa Convention Centre, Tampa,  Florida, was to pursue methods to increase the accuracy and precision of age estimation, with the focus on monodontids, by a critical review of traditional and newer techniques. The report is in Annex 3 of the 19th Report of the Scientific Committee

Methods for age estimation using Growth Layer Groups (GLGs) in teeth of most marine mammals have long been accepted and deposition rates have been established by direct means or by similarity to other species. Notable exceptions include the beluga whale and narwhals. For these species, there is a need to develop methods to increase both the accuracy and precision in age estimates. Especially for narwhals, non-traditional methods may be necessary, such as Aspartic (Amino) Acid Racemization using eye lens and or fatty acids species. Other innovative methods being tested for ageing are based on genetic material, such as from a skin biopsy. While these methods have higher levels of uncertainty and lack the robust validation of tooth aging, they may have application in specific circumstances.

Invited speakers included experts on age estimation in belugas and narwhals, on Amino Acid Racemization, on fatty acid analysis as it pertains to age estimation, and on additional methods that have shown promise in other mammalian species. Abstract submissions for 10-20 minute presentations, provided new or helpful information from other species, including terrestrial mammals, or various techniques which may better inform age estimation in monodontids. These presentations provided the basis for a publication by the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO).

NAMMCO Expert Group meeting on hunting methods for small cetaceans

The Committee on Hunting Methods convened an Expert Group meeting to assess the hunting methods for small cetaceans in Copenhagen, Denmark 15 to 17 November 2011. The report of this Expert Group is online.

The Expert Group meeting had the following terms of reference: 

1. Review and assess current hunting and killing methods for small cetaceans
2. Review and assess information on recent and ongoing research on improvements and technical innovations in hunting methods and gear used for hunting of small cetaceans
3. Review and assess time to death (TTD) data on the killing of small cetaceans
4. Give recommendations with respect to possible improvements.

In addition to the NAMMCO member countries Greenland and Faroe Islands, participants from Canada, the USA and Japan were present. 

The Expert Group consisted of experts in fields such as veterinary medicine, statistics, physiology and biology specifically related to the killing of small cetaceans and animal welfare. 

The Expert Group met in Copenhagen, Denmark on the 15th to 17th November 2011.

Participation was by invitation only.

NAMMCO SC Working Group on MarEcoModelling

A meeting on Marine Ecosystem Monitoring Tool for Sustainable Management of Resources was held in Oslo, 16-17 September 2011

NAMMCO welcomed a workshop gathering experts across the North Atlantic to Oslo.

Aim of the MarEcoModelling was to draft a proposal for an EC-funded RTD project that seeks to develop a tool for sustainable management of marine resources and understanding of Good Environmental Status (GES) as defined by The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).


NAMMCO 20th Council Meeting

The Council of NAMMCO and the associated Management Committees convened 13-15 September 2011 at the Grand Hotel, Oslo. The report of the meeting is online.


NAMMCO 18th Scientific Committee Meeting

The Scientific Committee of NAMMCO held its plenary meeting 2-5 May 2011 at Gjøgv on the Faroe Islands. The report from this 18th meeting is online.


NAMMCO SC Working Group on Large Whale Assessment

The Scientific WG met in Copenhagen, 4-8 April 2011. The report of the WG is Annex 4 of the 18th Report of the Scientific Committee.


NAMMCO SC Working Group on Coastal Seals

The Scientific WG met in Copenhagen, 14-18 March 2011. The report is Annex 1 of the 18th report for the Scientific Committee.

NAMMCO SC Working Group on Abundance Estimate

The Scientific WG met in Copenhagen, Denmark, 7-11 March 2011. The report of the meeting is Annex 2 of the 18th report of the Scientific Committee.