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Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) has always been recognised as different to commercial whaling. It is handled separately, by a dedicated ASW Sub-Committee which deals with the regulation and management of this type of whaling. 

One important aspect of the ASW Sub-Committee work is to receive advice from the Scientific Committee on whether requests for hunting by member governments are sustainable.  To provide this advice, the Scientific Committee uses advanced computer modelling together with data collected on abundance and population structure to develop precautionary ways to assess sustainable levels for each hunt.  

The ASW Sub-Committee also works with the hunters themselves and with their government representatives.  As part of the process, the relevant government provides information about the nutritional and cultural importance of the hunt and you can read these here. 

Aboriginal catch quotas (known as strike limits) are set in six year blocks.  The current quotas were established at the IWC Commission Meeting in September 2018.  

  • To read the most recent report of the ASW Sub-Committee click here.
  • To read more about Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling click here.
  • To read about the Voluntary Fund for Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling click here.