22 May 2013
In June, more than 200 cetacean scientists from all over the world will collaborate at the annual IWC Scientific Committee meeting. Science underpins every aspect of the IWC’s work on conservation and management. Since 1950, its Scientific Committee has met annually to bring together information and expertise from every continent. For about two weeks, the Committee and its working groups will hold over 100 sessions, covering all aspects of conservation and management including: the status of individual whale populations; ecosystem modelling; impacts of hunting, entanglement and ship strikes; health and disease; effects of noise; implications of climate change; and oil spill response capacity. The draft agenda and submitted papers can be found here. The Committee’s reports provide the scientific basis for IWC policymaking, and final reports are publicly available via this website http://iwc.int/reports.
Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP) Conference, Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 31 May – 2 June
22 May 2013
The Southern Ocean Research Partnership is an international consortium of scientists leading the development and application of non-lethal whale science. The SORP project leaders and interested parties will be meeting prior to the IWC Scientific Committee in the Republic of Korea. The discussions and presentations will showcase the progress and discoveries made by the five SORP projects to date and coordinate future research activities that support cetacean conservation and management in the Southern Ocean. View the agenda at the SORP website.
22 May 2013
Conservation Management Plans were introduced to the IWC in 2008. Their purpose is to improve conservation outcomes for the world’s most endangered cetacean populations. CMPs are tailored, flexible tools which enable targeted management of human activities. Importantly, they are designed to complement existing international conventions and agreements, national legislation and management regimes in participating states. An essential component is the involvement of stakeholders, including those whose actions contribute to the threats. Three CMPs are already underway. More are planned, and the IWC expert group meeting in Brisbane this month will be looking at cetacean populations all over the world.
9 May 2013
Whale watch operators, scientists, and government officials from over 20 countries will be gathering in Brisbane in May. On the agenda is a 5 year Strategic Plan for Whale Watching and the development of a web-based ‘Living’ Handbook. Whale watching is a fast-growing sector with economic benefits for a diverse range of coastal communities. However, unless well-managed it has the potential to have a negative impact on whales and their habitat. The IWC 5 year plan aims to develop and convey best practice, and the Living Handbook will become an evolving repository for all aspects of advice including training, governance, capacity building and compliance. The aim of the Brisbane meeting is get valuable input directly from the industry on implementation of the 5 year Strategic Plan to help ensure that whales can be watched responsibly now and by future generations.
2 May 2013
The challenges for our oceans and the life they sustain have never been more significant. In May, the IWC is bringing together experts from around the world to better understand marine debris and its effect on cetaceans. Man-made ocean debris includes plastics, abandoned and lost fishing gear, glass, metal and wood. Ingestion and entanglement can cause horrific suffering to marine mammals. The IWC is co-ordinating efforts to understand the nature and impact of marine debris on whales and small cetaceans with the first of two workshops. This workshop will begin with a one day public seminar which is open to anyone with an interest in the issue. Click here for more information.