The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission

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NAMMCO/JCNB Joint Scientific Working Group

2016

NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

The FAC met on 23 and 24 November 2016 at the Greenland Representation in Copenhagen under the chairmanship of Margretha Jacobsen (Faroe Islands).

Marine Mammals as Food Resource

The Planning Group for the project "Marine Mammals as Food resource" met in Copenhagen on 22 November 2016 under the chairmanship of Amalie Jessen (Greenland). This projects look at the characteristics of marine mammals as food resources (sustainability, environmental quality, health and societal perspectives). To read more look here

23rd Meeting of the NAMMCO Scientific Committee

The 23rd Meeting of the Scientific Committee was held 4-7 November 2016 in Nuuk, Greenland and hosted by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. The Scientific Committee discussed the reports of this year's Working Groups: Coastal Seals, By-Catch, Harp and Hooded Seals, and Abundance Estimates. They reviewed new and standing requests for advice from the NAMMCO Council, and heard updates on ongoing and new research on marine mammals in the NAMMCO area. The report is available here.

Below the Scientific Committee of NAMMCO, version 2016, together with observers from Canada, Japan and the Russian Federation and the Secretariat of NAMMCO on the stairs of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resource.

NAMMCO SC23 Nuuk

NAMMCO at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) 66th annual meeting

NAMMCO will present the report from the NAMMCO Expert Group meeting on assessing whale killing data for large whale hunts held in November 2015. The presentation will be given to the IWC Working group on Whale killing methods and welfare issues on 20 October in Portoroz, Slovenia during IWC 66th annual meeting. More information on the work of the Expert Group and the full report may be found here

NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods

The NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods will meet in Copenhagen 18 October 2016 under the chairmanship of Nette Levermann from Greenland. On the agenda will be discussions on methods for collection of time to death data and reasons for struck and lost. 

Abundance Estimates Working Group

The Abundance Estimates Working Group met on 16-18 October 2016 at the Greenland Representation in Copenhagen, Denmark. This meeting focused on examining the analyses of abundance data from the 2015 North Atlantic Sightings Survey.

NAMMCO Breakout Session at Arctic Circle 2016

fuhumpback060805 384Sustainable Marine Resources: a Piece of the Blue Economy Puzzle in the Arctic?

Photo: F. Ugarte

The session attempted to bring out the main facts regarding the biology, management and international commitments regarding marine mammal resources in the North. A special focus was given to the economic and cultural importance of these resources, with the consequences of the EU seal ban for the livelihood of Greenlandic communities. 

See a summary of the of the session output below, where the presentations of the speakers can also be accessed.

Conclusion of the panel discussion:

- The right to the sustainable utilisation of living marine resources, including marine mammals, are at the core of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the law of the Sea and the 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development: Sustainability was the new deal, as well as Rio+20 summit.

- The science is there for permitting the sustainable management of marine mammal resources, if the will and the necessary scientific monitoring are there, which is the case in NAMMCO Countries.

- The stocks exploited by NAMMCO parties can support the present level of removals - see the IWC webpage for fin, humpback, bowhead and minke whales for example.

- The EU seal ban has considerable negative consequences on the small communities in Greenland, both familial, societal and economic.

The difficulty resides in conveying the message to the urbanised world, so sustainable and responsible hunting communities are not longer demonised and sustainable, local whaling and sealing are perceived as what they are: a green, resource-efficient, low-carbon and ecologically responsible way of acquiring food and supporting food security, that in total agreement with the concept of Blue economy.

 (The presentation of the three speakers can be accessed below)

Abstract: 

The international commitments permitting and ensuring the sustainable and responsible use of marine resources will be reviewed as well as the advances in management and monitoring methodologies which permit the science-based approach to replace decades of over-exploitation by sustainable exploitation. The Greenlandic example will illustrate the societal and economical price to coastal communities of not being able to exploit marine resources at hands. The session will open to the question of whether we are not at the time when the sustainable use of marine mammals is possible and one piece of the Blue Economy puzzle, thus accommodating the cultural and economic needs of the people in the North with our all willingness of preserving and restoring the marine ecosystem.

Speakers and panelists:

  • Ásta Einarsdóttir, Chair of NAMMCO, Senior Legal Expert; Ministry of Industries and Innovation, IcelandIntroduction to NAMMCO
  • Grímur Valdimarsson, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Industries and Innovation, IcelandThe Use of Living Marine Resources: The Rules of the Game. - Presentation here
  • Jóhann Sigurjónsson, Special Envoy on Ocean Affairs, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Iceland: Science-based Use of Living Marine Resources. - Presentation here
  • Ditte H. Sorknæs, Chief Executive Officer, Great Greenland: The Economical and Societal Consequences of Trade Barriers on Inuit Communities. - Presentation here
  • Amalie Jessen, Head of Department, Greenlandic Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture 
  • Jóannes V. Hansen, Head of Section, Foreign Service, Faroese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Chair:

  • Martin Breum, Journalist and author

 IMG 3232 Asta 640x480

 

Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals

The ICES/NAFO/NAMMCO Working group on Harp and Hooded Seals (WGHARP) met 26-30 September 2016 in Copenhagen and updated the assessments for harp and hooded seals. 

NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

The NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee will convene on June 21-22 under the chairmanship of Jóannes V. Jensen, Faroes. The meeting will be held at the Greenland representation, Copenhagen, Denmark, starting at 9.00 am on Tuesday.

NAMMCO PG on Marine Mammals as Food Resources

The Planning Group of the NAMMCO project "Marine Mammal as Food Resources" will meet on June 20 at the Greenland representation, under the leadership of Amalie Jessen, Greenland, staring at 10.30.

NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods

The NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods held a telephone meeting on 3 May and will hold a telephone meeting 2 June 2016. Chair is Nette Levermann (GR). 

NAMMCO SC Working Group on Coastal Seals (CSWG)

The NAMMCO Scientific Committee Working Group on Coastal Seals convened 1-4 March, at the Institute of Marine Research, Reykjavík, Iceland, under the chairmanship of Kjell Tormod Nillsen (Institute of Marine Research, Tromsø, Norway).

CSWG3CSWG2CSWG1CSWG4

16 experts participated to the Working Group, coming from Canada, USA, Scotland, Estonia and Sweden and scientits from the NAMMCO countries, Faroes, Iceland and Norway.

 

The present ToR of the CSWG were the following.

Extract from the report of NAMMCO SC 22

 

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

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

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

 

NAMMCO SC Working Group on ByCatch (BYCWG)

The NAMMCO Scientific Committee Working Group on Bycatch convened on February 29 at the Marine research Institute, Reykjavík, Iceland. Geneviève Desportes acted as convenor of this meeting.

The ToR of the BYCWG are the following

1. Identify all fisheries with potential by-catch of marine mammals

2. Review and evaluate current by-catch estimates for marine mammals in NAMMCO countries.

3. If necessary, provide advice on improved data collection and estimation methods to obtain best estimates of total by-catch over time.

 

NAMMCO SC recommended that this first meeting focused on planning the work of the NAMMCO BYCWG, its modus operandi and a futur meeting, as well as advising on a chair.

The participants were: Bjarni Mikkelsen (MNH, Faroes), Thorvladur Gunnlaugsson, Gisli Víkingsson & Guðjon Sigurdsson (IMR, Iceland), Arne Bjørge and Kjell T. Nilssen (MRI, Norway) and Geneviève Desportes and Jill Prewitt (NAMMCO Secretariat).

 

 

Seminar on analysing TTD data

The NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods held a seminar on the analysis of TTD (Time to Death) data for whales, 7 February 2016 in Oslo, Norway. The seminar was lead by Professor Lars Walløe from the University of Oslo.  

NAMMCO 24

The 24th Meeting of Council was hosted by the Secretariat of NAMMCO andtook place on 10 - 11 February 2016, Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway, under the chairmanship of Ásta Einarsdóttir (Iceland). 

Different documents can be accessed below. The report of the meeting will be available shortly. 

Press Release

Agenda and Draft Annotated Agenda

List of Documents 

List of Participants

Invited speaker presentation by Dr. Nicola Beaumont, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK.
“Why do marine mammals need ecosystem-based management? And what have they ever done for us? An exploration of the ecosystem service approach to support the NAMMCO framework”.

NAMMCO Management Committees

The NAMMCO Management Committee for Seals and Walruses (MCSW) and Management Committee for Cetaceans (MCC) hold their annual meeting on February 9, Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway, under the chairmanship of Ulla Svarrer Wang (Faroes) and Hild Ynnesdal (Norway) respectively.

The Management Committees hold a joint meeting on Tuesday February 9. It was followed by the meeting of the Management Committee for Cetaceans, then the meeting of the Management Committee for for Seals and Walruses. 

 

Agendas


Joint Meeting of the Management Committees

(Chair: Ulla Svarrer Wang, Faroes)

1. Chairman's opening remarks

2. Adoption of agenda

3. Appointment of rapporteur

4. Environmental questions

    4.1. Disturbance symposium [1]

    4.2. Mary river project – Baffinland (Presentation by MP Heide-Jørgensen)

    4.3. Climate change

    4.4. Other topics

5. Management issues

     5.1. Marine mammal - fisheries interactions

     5.2. By-catch data and monitoring

            5.2.1. Trade issues

      5.3. Ecosystem-based management

      5.4. Procedures for decision making on conservation & management measures

      5.5. Other topics

6. User knowledge in management decision-making

7. Any other business

 

[1] NAMMCO Symposium “Impacts of Human Disturbance on Arctic Marine Mammals” 13-15 October 2015

Management Committee for Seals and Walruses

 (Chair: Hild Ynnesdal, Norway)

Agenda Seals and Walruses

Management Committee for Cetaceans

(Chair: Ulla Svarrer Wang, Faroes) 

Agenda Cetaceans

 

Joint List of Documents for the Management Commitees

NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee (FAC)

The NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee convened on Monday 8 February in preparation of the annual meeting of the Council - NAMMCO 24 (February 9-10, Oslo), under the chairmanship of Ole-David Stenseth, Norway. The meeting was held at the Grand Hotel, Oslo, Norway. It was be followed by a Heads of Delegation meeting at the same location.

NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods

The NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods held a meeting 6 February 2016. The report can be found here. Chair was Nette Levermann (GR). The meeting reviewed developments on hunting methods in member countries, and the report from the NAMMCO Expert Group meeting held  4 - 6 November 2015 to assess killing data on large whales will be presented. 

NAMMCO FAC

The NAMMCO Finance and Administration Committee convened on Tuesday 26 January in preparation of the annual meeting of the Council - NAMMCO 24 (February 9-10, Oslo), under the chairmanship of Ole-David Stenseth, Norway. The meeting was held at the Greenlandic Representation in Copenhagen, Denmark.. 

NAMMCO Committee on Inspection and Observation

The NAMMCO Committee on Inspection and Observation held a telephone meeting on Tuesday 12 January from 14:00 hrs Norwegian time. The report from the meeting can be found here. Chair is Ulla Svarrer Wang (FO).