The Commission is supported by the work of the following Committees, Sub-committees and Working Groups:
The Scientific Committee. An important feature of the Convention is the emphasis it places on scientific advice. The Scientific Committee comprises around 200 leading cetacean scientists from many countries, and its main meeting is held annually. In addition, each year a number of intersessional workshops and working groups deal with specific issues.
The Conservation Committee was established through Commission Resolution 2003-1. Its work includes initiatives to reduce the frequency of ship strikes, measures to allow the strategic development of the whalewatching industry, the development of Conservation Management Plans. It also receives Sanctuary proposals and national reports on cetacean conservation.
The Finance and Administration Committee advises the Commission on expenditure, budgets, scale of contributions, financial regulations and staff questions. In 2011 and 2012 the Committee has been reviewing the Commission’s overall governance arrangements and has introduced new measures to increase transparency, ensure cost savings and establish other efficiencies in the way the Commission works.
The Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling Sub-Committee considers relevant information and documentation from the Scientific Committee, and considers nutritional, subsistence and cultural needs relating to aboriginal subsistence whaling and the use of whales for such purposes. It provides advice to the Commission on the dependence of aboriginal communities on specific whale stocks to the Commission for its consideration and determination of appropriate management measures.
The Infractions Sub-Committee considers matters and documents relating to the International Observer Scheme and Infractions in so far as they involve monitoring and compliance with the Schedule to the 1946 Convention and penalties for infractions.
The Working Group on Whale Killing Methods and Associated Welfare Issues was established in 2000 to review information and documentation available so as to advise the Commission on whale killing methods and associated welfare issues.