28 April 2020: Update related to COVID-19 – NAMMCO’s work continues, with some rescheduling

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 28th Meeting of NAMMCO, comprising the meetings of the Council and the Management Committees, which was planned to be held on 17-19 March 2020 in Oslo, has now been rescheduled to 23-26 March 2021. The Council of NAMMCO oversees the work of the Commission and prioritises the work of the Committees. The Management Committees provide management advice to member countries, including recommendations for sustainable catches of marine mammals.

The Heads of Delegations of the NAMMCO member countries have met online since mid-March to organise and discuss the work of the organisation under these exceptional circumstances.

Organising work remotely

All meetings in person have been postponed until after the summer. The Finance and Administration Committee and the Heads of Delegations of the Council both met remotely in March to deal with a number of essential matters of an organisational and administrative nature. It has been agreed that other issues of substance will either be dealt with by correspondence or postponed until the next full meeting of the Commission, NAMMCO 28, in Oslo in March 2021.

Observation of Norwegian sealing in 2020 under the NAMMCO International Observation Scheme has been cancelled. The Committee on Inspection and Observation met online on 3 April and is currently developing a proposal for the observation activities for 2021 that will be presented to the Council. The Committee will meet again on 25 August.

Scientific Committee

The Council has agreed to change the timing of the regular Scientific Committee meeting from the autumn to the spring, to be held a minimum of two months ahead of the Council meeting. The next meeting of the Scientific Committee, hosted by Greenland, has therefore been rescheduled to 26-29 January 2021.

All planned spring meetings of Scientific Committee working groups have been re-scheduled and will be held remotely later in the spring or face to face in the autumn, as follows:

  • Scientific Committee Working Group on By-Catch, 28 May 2020 – online meeting
  • NAMMCO-ICES-NAFO seal modelling workshop, 14-17 September 2020 – St Andrews, UK.
  • NAMMCO-JCNB joint Working Group on narwhal and beluga, 26-29 October 2020 – Winnipeg, CA
  • Scientific Committee Working Group on Coastal Seals, 2-5 November 2020 – Copenhagen, DK.

For a full overview of upcoming NAMMCO meetings, please see under “Calendar” on the NAMMCO website, nammco.org. Meeting reports are also available under “Library” on the website.

The staff of the Secretariat continue to carry out their duties remotely from NAMMCO headquarters in Tromsø.

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