10 May 2019: Report of the NAMMCO Working Group on Harbour Porpoise Now Available

It is the week of the harbour porpoise here in NAMMCO!

The NAMMCO Harbour Porpoise Working Group met at the Faroes Representation in Copenhagen from 19-22 March 2019. The final report from this meeting is now available.

The Working Group (WG) conducted an assessment of the sustainability of the harvest of harbour porpoises in West Greenland and reviewed the report of the Joint IMR/NAMMCO International Workshop on the Status of Harbour Porpoises in the North Atlantic, with a particular focus on the assessments performed for Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The WG also discussed impacts on harbour porpoises from non-hunting related stresses, particularly noise disturbance.

Based on the evidence available, the WG recommended that harbour porpoises with site fidelity to West Greenland be recognised as a unique sub-population, a proposal that will be taken forward within the IUCN. The WG also concluded that although the population in West Greenland was relatively stable, further improvements in validating catch statistics were important.

The WG made a wide range of recommendations for further research that would be beneficial for future assessments and policy advice, as well as conservation and management actions that NAMMCO member countries can take to help ensure the health and vitality of harbour porpoise populations in the North Atlantic.

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