October 11, 2018: Behind NAMMCO – 25 Years of the Scientific Committee

This November is an important event in NAMMCO’s calendar as it marks the 25-year jubilee of the Scientific Committee (SC). For the last quarter of a century, the SC has played a vital role in the understanding of marine mammal populations and stock structure in the North Atlantic. The work produced by the SC, and its constituent Working Groups, helps provide the basis for management policy and quotas in NAMMCO member countries.

The conservation status of most hunted stocks is regularly reviewed; the SC has provided advice on sustainable catches and on research needed to better inform assessments. Not least, the NASS 28-year series: 1987, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2015 coordinated by the Committee, represents the most comprehensive and geographically largest survey effort. More recently, increased efforts are channelled towards identifying and assessing the full range of human induced impacts on marine mammal populations, both direct and indirect.

From November 13th to 16th, SC 25 will convene aboard the M/S Polarlys, departing from Bergen. Travelling up the Norwegian coast to Tromsø, the SC will discuss the findings of the relevant working groups. It will also respond to specific requests from the Council, utilising existing scientific information to provide the best possible advice for the sustainable management of marine mammal populations.

Committee members present at this year’s 25th anniversary SC meeting will also be featured in our “Behind NAMMCO series”, where their history of involvement in NAMMCO can be viewed.

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