NAMMCO provides scientific advice to its member countries on the status and management of marine mammal species and stocks. Additionally, the Council requests scientific recommendation from the Scientific Committee. These requests are often related to the sustainability of catches, but are also related to issues such as interactions between marine mammals and fisheries, and the effects of other human activities than hunting on marine mammals in the Arctic.

Assessments of stocks require basic information such as abundance, trends in abundance, and numbers of removals (from direct catches, by-catch, and other sources of mortality). Additional information on the species such as survival rate, reproductive rate, age at first reproduction, etc., are also essential for population modelling. The Scientific Committee evaluates the status of marine mammal management units through species-specific Working Groups. In these, international scientists, both from NAMMCO and non-NAMMCO, contribute their expertise on species, threats, and population modeling.

NAMMCO seeks to implement an Ecosystem Approach to management, where marine mammals are seen as a part of the whole ecosystem, and where all human impacts are taken into account, not only hunting. See section on How humans affect marine mammals.

Model showing the status of the Beluga population in West Greenland

Population modelling showing an increase in the beluga population in West Greenland from when quotas were introduced in 2004 (green arrow) on the advice of NAMMCO. Diamonds indicate abundance estimates from surveys.

Read more about the Scientific Committee and its Working Groups.

Work done in NAMMCO:

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