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Catch Limits & Catches taken

Information on recent catches taken by commercial, aboriginal and scientific permit whaling.

Catches

Click here to view the total catches taken since commercial whaling catch limits were set to zero and the 'moratorium' came into force

Click HERE for a list of commercial catches taken under objection since the zero catch limits came into force
Click HERE for a list of aboriginal subsistence catches taken since the zero catch limits came into force
Click HERE for a list of special permit catches taken since the zero catch limits came into force

Commercial whaling catch limits

In 1982, the Commission took a decision that catch limits for all commercial whaling would be set to zero.  The Commission also stated that, by 1990 at the latest, the Commission would undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effect of the decision on whale stocks, and consider modifying the way catch limits were set.  See the IWC Schedule Para 10e. 

This 'moratorium' on commercial whaling came into effect in 1986 and subsequently the Scientific Committee developed and the Commission adopted a new method for calculating sustainable commercial catch limits, called the Revised Management Procedure (RMP). This has not been implemented and is awaiting agreement from the Commission on the Revised Management Scheme (RMS) which is a separate framework covering non-scientific aspects of commercial whaling regulation, including inspection and observation.

Click HERE for a list of commercial catches taken under objection since the zero catch limits came into force


Catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling

The Commission sets catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.

With the completion of the RMP, the Scientific Committee went on to develop a new procedure for the management of aboriginal subsistence whaling which takes into account the different management objectives for such whaling compared to commercial whaling. This is an iterative and ongoing effort.

The Commission has established an Aboriginal Whaling Scheme that comprises the scientific and logistical (e.g. inspection/observation) aspects of the management of all aboriginal fisheries. Within this, the scientific component might comprise some general aspects common to all fisheries (e.g. guidelines and requirements for surveys) and an overall AWMP within which there will be common components and case-specific components.

The Aboriginal Subsistence catch limits currently in force are:

Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas stock of bowhead whales (taken by native people of Alaska and Chukotka) -A total of up to 336 bowhead whales can be landed in the period 2013 - 2018, with no more than 67 whales struck in any year (and up to 15 unused strikes may be carried over each year).

Eastern North Pacific gray whales (taken by native people of Chukotka and Washington State) - A total catch of 744 whales is allowed for the years 2013 - 2018 with a maximum of 140 in any one year.

East Greenland common minke whales (taken by Greenlanders) - An annual strike limit of 12 whales is allowed for the years 2005 – 2018, with any unused quota available to be carried forward to subsequent years provided that no more than 3 strikes are added to the quota for any one year.

West Greenland bowhead whales (taken by Greenlanders) - An annual strike limit of 2 whales is allowed for the years 2015 - 2018 with an annual review by the Scientific Committee.  Any unused quota can be carried forward to subsequent years so long as not more than 2 strikes are added to the quota for any one year.

West Greenland fin whales (taken by Greenlanders) - An annual strike limit of 19 whales is allowed for the years 2015 - 2018.

West Greenland common minke whales (taken by Greenlanders) - An annual strike limit of 164 whales is allowed for the years 2015 - 2018 with an annual review by the Scientific Committee.  Any unused quota can be carried forwards so long as no more than 15 strikes are added to the quota for any one year.

West Greenland humpback whales (taken by Greenlanders) – An annual strike limit of 10 whales is allowed for the years 2015-2018 with an annual review by the Scientific Committee.  Any unused quota can be carried forwards so long as not more than 2 strikes are added to the quota for any one year.

Humpback whales taken by St Vincent and The Grenadines - For the seasons 2013 - 2018 the number of humpback whales to be taken shall not exceed 24.

Click HERE for a list of aboriginal subsistence catches taken since the zero catch limits for commercial whaling came into force

 


Whaling under scientific permit (special permit)

Since the ‘moratorium’ came into effect in 1986, Japan, Norway and Iceland have issued scientific permits as part of their research programmes. (Click HERE for more information on Scientific Permits).

Click HERE for a list of special permit catches taken since the zero catch limits for commercial whaling came into force

 


Whale sanctuaries

As well as management measures governing catch and size limits, species and seasons, the IWC also designates open and closed areas for commercial whaling. (Click HERE for information on IWC designated sanctuaries and the history of their creation).