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Conservation Committee

Chair: Jorge Maksabedian, Mexico

The Conservation Committee was established to consider a number of emerging cetacean conservation issues, and its role continues to evolve.  The Conservation Committee collaborates closely with the Scientific Committee to understand and address a range of threats to whales and their habitats.  

The varied work programme includes:

  • a strategy to provide an international forum for advice and support to the fast-growing whalewatching industry, including development of an online and 'live' whalewatch handbook.
  • a ship strikes programme that has developed a publicly accessible database, now being used to gather data and build understanding of where and why collisions occur between whales and ships.  The ultimate aim is to develop targeted and practical mitigation measures.
  • development of the Conservation Management Plan concept, a flexible, collaborative blueprint for effective coordination of conservation work between local, national, regional and international stakeholders.  Three Conservation Management Plans have already been instigated for some of the most at-risk whale populations and more are under consideration.
  • a joint programme with the Scientific Committee to consider the impact of marine debris on cetaceans.  Two workshops have been held, reviewing existing research upon which  a series of recommended actions were developed and endorsed by the Commission.


Further Reading

To read the Report of the Joint Conservation and Scientific Committees Working Group Meeting, 2015, click here.

To read the most recent report of the Conservation Committee click here.

To read about the Voluntary Fund for Conservation click here.

To read more about ship strikes, click here.

To read more about the IWC's work on whalewatching, click here.

To read more about Conservation Management Plans, click here.

To read more about the impact of marine debris on cetaceans, click here.