30 March 2023: The 30th Council meeting

The 30th Council Meeting of the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) took place the 29th & 30th March, 2023, in Tromsø, Norway.

30 years contributing to a sustainable North
Over the past 30 years, NAMMCO has played a critical role in advancing the cause of marine mammal conservation in the North Atlantic. With the support of its member nations and a dedicated network of partners and collaborators, NAMMCO has led the way in promoting sustainable management and protection of marine mammal populations and their habitats.
As NAMMCO marks its 30th Council Meeting, the organisation looks forward to continuing its important work and collaborating with stakeholders around the world to safeguard the future of marine mammals and the oceans they call home.

The future of NAMMCO was a focal point at the meeting. With the marine mammal conservation landscape evolving, participants explored the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for NAMMCO. From new technologies and emerging threats to shifting policy frameworks and evolving public attitudes, the discussion explored the many factors shaping the future of marine mammal conservation in the North Atlantic.

Precautionary approach
Concerned by the status of some of the stocks, the Council adopted principles for incorporating a precautionary approach to the management of marine mammal stocks in NAMMCO. These include definitions of when stocks should be protected. It also adopted criteria for prioritising future assessments of all stocks.

Read the principles here

NASS24 and the MINTAG
North Atlantic Sightings Surveys in 2024 (NASS24) are fundamental for the progression of NAMMCOs work. The NASS surveys are essential to obtain trends in abundance of whales and dolphins in the North Atlantic and represent a unique timeseries conducted over the last four decades.
The Miniaturised Tag Project (MINTAG), a cooperation between NAMMCO Countries and Japan, aiming for the first time at developing satellite tags to study movements and identify migration patterns of whales. The first deployment of 25 tags is scheduled for summer 2023. To formalise this scientific cooperation, NAMMCO and Japan signed a Letter of Intent, with the purpose to facilitate further project-based cooperation.

WG User Knowledge
The Council reiterated commitment to find ways for better including User Knowledge in the work of NAMMCO.

Supplementary Information
Sustainable harvesting of marine mammals for food defines NAMMCO. Member countries share a strong commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 – to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, and UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger.

The Governments of Canada, Denmark, Japan and the USA observed the meeting, as well as Makivvik. International organisations represented during the meetings included the International Whaling Commission, the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, the Fishermen’s and Hunter’s Association in Greenland, the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organisation, the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, and the World Conservation Trust.

The agenda, list of participants and documents for the Council can be found at https://nammco.no/meeting-reports-and-documents/#Council

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