8 Jul 2014
At the beginning of July, the IWC-POWER research cruise set sail to survey cetaceans in an area of the North Pacific which has not been researched for decades. Now in its fifth year, the IWC-POWER programme is an international collaboration which aims to build understanding of the abundance and stock structure of a number of key species. This year’s cruise will focus primarily on Bryde’s, fin and sei whales, and involves scientists from the US and Britain, as well as Japan which also generously provides the vessel and crew.
The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the global intergovernmental body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling. It is set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling signed in 1946. The Commission has a current membership of 88 Governments from countries around the World.
In 1986 the Commission introduced zero catch limits for commercial whaling. This provision is still in place today, although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.
As well as keeping whale catch limits under review, the Commission works to promote the recovery of depleted whale populations by addressing a range of specific issues. These include ship strikes, entanglement events, environmental concerns and establishing protocols for whalewatching.
The pages on this website provide detailed information about the Commission, its meetings, decisions and its current work to conserve and manage whale populations throughout the world.
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