16 October: Report of the joint ICES/NAFO/NAMMCO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals is now available!
The joint ICES/NAFO/NAMMCO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals (WGHARP) was held in Tromsø (Norway) from the 21st to the 25th of August 2023. This working group, co-Chaired by Martin Biuw (Institute for Marine Research, Norway) and Sophie Smout (University of St Andrews, UK), gathered 18 experts from Norway, Canada, Greenland, UK, USA and Denmark.
The WGHARP was tasked with the mission of reviewing recent surveys of harp and hooded seal pup production in the Greenland Sea and explore potential harvest scenarios for these populations as well as harp seals in the White Sea. A significant finding in their latest report is the ongoing decline of the Greenland Sea hooded seal population, which persists below the lower reference limit, despite the lack of hunting since 2007.