The Scientific Committee provides scientific advice in response to requests from the Council (See the list of requests and answers here) and at its own initiative if it has identified an issue of concern, utilising existing scientific information to the extent that this is possible. Rules of Procedure govern the Committee’s functions.
The Scientific Committee is comprised of members appointed by NAMMCO nations. Each NAMMCO nation may appoint up to 6 members of the Scientific Committee. Members of the Secretariat are also ex officio, non-voting members of the Scientific Committee.
The Scientific Committee meets annually, usually in the autumn. Reports from past meetings can be found here. The most recent meeting was the 25th Scientific Committee meeting, which was held 12-16 November 2018 on M/S Polarlys sailing along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Tromsø. The report of the meeting can be found here. The Scientific Committee annual meeting of 2019 will be held 29 October-1 November.
A large portion of the work of the Scientific Committee takes place within Working Groups, which you can read more about below.
Scientific Committee Members
Bjarni Mikkelsen, Faroese Museum of Natural History
Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Fernando Ugarte, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Lars Witting, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Rikke Guldborg Hansen, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources
Bjarki Þór Elvarsson, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Iceland
Gísli Víkingsson, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Iceland
Sandra Granquist, Marine and Freshwater Research Institute
Christian Lydersen, Norwegian Polar Institute
Kjell Tormod Nilssen, Institute of Marine Research, Norway
Mette Skern-Mauritzen, Institute of Marine Research, Norway
Nils Øien, Institute of Marine Research, Norway
Tore Haug, Institute of Marine Research, Norway
The Faroe Islands holds the Chair of the Scientific Committee, currently represented by Bjarni Mikkelsen, and Greenland holds the Vice-Chair, currently represented by Aqqalu Rosing-Asvid.
The Scientific Committee organises Working Groups (WGs) to address specific issues as needed. In addition to members of the Scientific Committe, external experts are invited to chair and/or participate in these specialist working groups in order to acquire the best possible knowledge. This involvement of particpants external to NAMMCO widens and strengthens the expertise available for the WG and supports transparency. Over sixty Working Group meetings have been held since NAMMCO’s beginning and the reports from these WGs can be found here, or sorted by theme here.
Joint Working Groups
The Scientific Committee also works with other organisations on matters of mutual scientific interest. For example, the Scientific Committee has special Joint Scientific Working Group meetings with the Joint Commission on Narwhal and Beluga (JCNB) between Canada and Greenland, and is also a co-convenor of the ICES/NAFO/NAMMCO working group on harp and hooded seals (WGHARP). In addition, in March 2006 the Scientific Committee held a joint working group meeting with the IWC on fin whales.
Upcoming Working Group meetings
The following WG meetings are in the calendar for the remainder of 2019. These meetings are open to members of the NAMMCO Scientific Committee and Invited Experts.
Standing Working Groups with General Aims and Terms of Reference
Abundance Estimates Working Group
By-catch Working Group
Coastal Seals Working Group
Harbour Porpoise Working Group
ICES/NAMMCO/NAFO Working Group on Harp and Hooded Seals
Joint NAMMCO/JCNB Working Group on Narwhal and Beluga
Large Whale Assessment Working Group
Find all reports here.
Walrus Working Group