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The IWC was established in 1946 as the global authority on cetaceans, and continues to lead cetacean research and conservation as well as regulation of  whaling. The organisation holds an extensive collection of current and historical information including meeting reports and supporting documents, scientific papers, catch and sightings data, transcripts and audio recordings. These files are publicly accessible and many are held in the IWC Archive

Key Publications

Commission Meeting Reports

The Commission has met since 1950.  The structure of the meetings and their reports have evolved over time. Recent meeting reports contain a Chair’s Report of the Plenary and Sub-committee Reports as annexes. Please note that the Commission moved from annual to biennial meetings in 2012.

The Journal of Cetacean Research and Management (JCRM)

This is a peer-reviewed publication containing original scientific papers on the conservation and management of whales, dolphins and porpoises. The Journal is accompanied by an annual Supplement which contains the report of the IWC Scientific Committee meeting and intersessional workshops held during the relevant period. There are also a number of topic-based Special Issues. For information on submissions, please see the Authors guide. For historical copies pre-2019, please visit our public archive

Live and Recent Meeting Documents

Live or recent IWC meeting information is available via a dedicated site, established for each meeting. Each site includes documents discussed at the event and other relevant information such as logistics, maps and timetables. Current meeting sites can be accessed via the Meetings section of the IWC homepage. The majority of these meeting documents are later transferred to the Archive (see below) and become part of the historical record of the IWC. 

Historical Archive

The IWC Archive is an evolving depository of IWC documents and records. Additional material is added whenever resources to do this become available. The archive currently contains a range of documents from previous meetings of the Commission, its Bureau and Sub-committees, as well as copies of formal Circular Communications issued to all member governments, and most of the available Verbatim Records of IWC meetings. The long-term aim is to offer digital versions of all IWC records and there are over seventy years of files to scan and upload before the collection is complete. 

Reference Information

Click here for reference information including citations guidance.


The IWC Data Portal houses both the National Progress Reports database and the Ship Strikes Database which gathers reports of collisions between whales and vessels all over the world. To gain access to these databases, please create an account


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