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The International Whaling Commission

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) is the global body charged with the conservation of whales and the management of whaling.  The IWC currently has 88 member governments from countries all over the world.  All members are signatories to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.  This Convention is the legal framework which established the IWC in 1946. 

Uncertainty over whale numbers led to the introduction of a ‘moratorium’ on commercial whaling in 1986.  This remains in place although the Commission continues to set catch limits for aboriginal subsistence whaling.  Today, the Commission also works to understand and address a wide range of non-whaling threats to cetaceans including entanglement, ship strike, marine debris, climate change and other environmental concerns.  



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Project Development Officer
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Workshop to progress Strike Limit Algorithms for Greenland Subsistence Hunts

29 Jan 2015

The Scientific Committee's Aboriginal Whaling Management Procedure group (AWMP) will meet in February to progress SLAs for West Greenland's bowhead, common minke and fin whale hunts. SLAs are used to calculate safe limits for subsistence hunts. Developing acceptable SLAs is an iterative process and can take several years. The aim is to complete all West Greenland SLAs before the next Commission review of aboriginal whale catch quotas in 2018. Reviews of existing SLAs occur every five years.



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