August 11, 2017: Behind NAMMCO – Kathrine A. Ryeng, Norway

The People behind NAMMCO

A relatively new face behind NAMMCO, since 2012. An energetic woman behind shooting trials and experiments on the West Ice  — Kathrine A. Ryeng, Norway

I am a veterinarian with a PhD in chemical immobilization of wild animals. In my former research at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, my focus was on animal welfare issues related to capture and handling of wild animals. Then I joined the Norwegian Food Safety Authority at the Head Office, Oslo, where I worked with animal welfare legislation for different species.

After taking up my present position at the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) in 2012, I have been working with research and advice on animal welfare issues for marine mammals with special emphasis on the Norwegian harp seal- and minke whale hunts. So far, my research has mostly been focused on the harp seal hunt in the West Ice. My work also includes other human induced welfare issues in marine mammals, such as by-catch and entanglement of large whales. Lately, I also started a health assessment project on by-caught harbour porpoises. I have always been fascinated by marine mammals, and my interest in the marine ecosystems and marine ecosystem health probably brought me into my present job.

From the very beginning at the IMR, part of my job is to participate in the NAMMCO Committee on Hunting Methods, and also be a part of the Norwegian delegation to the NAMMCO Council meetings. The most impressive experience with NAMMCO is all the work that has been laid down in the Committee on Hunting Methods, where Dr Egil Ole Øen has been instrumental.

The harmonisation of modern and effective hunting methods and equipment between NAMMCO member countries is the most significant achievements of NAMMCO. The perspective for the Commission should be to continue this work and to continue the efforts to secure sustainable use of marine mammal populations.

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