Choose your language:

The IWC produces the State of the Cetacean Environment Report (SOCER) every year.  These environmental updates were first requested by the Commission in 1997, and have been produced annually since 2003 in order to help inform IWC discussions.  

The reports are compiled by three editors who are members of the IWC Scientific Committee, and the topics covered are wide-ranging, aiming to both reflect and help shape the ongoing work programme of the IWC. 

Regular sections of the SOCER include habitat degradation (including issues such as marine debris and ship strikes), chemical pollution, disease, noise impacts and mortality events (such as oil spills).  Positive developments (such as new marine protected areas or marine debris collection schemes) are also highlighted.  Each report provides a non-technical summary of the most recent published research, legislation and other relevant developments.  The SOCER has two components: a specific regional focus and a more general global update. 

The regional focus rotates on a 5-year cycle. The regions are:
Mediterranean and Black Seas
North and South Atlantic
North and South Pacific
Arctic and Antarctic (Polar)
Indian Ocean

The global section  aims to cover only the most recent and significant worldwide developments in the 12-month period since the previous SOCER.

In 2018, a Compendium was produced, consolidating the most recent 5 year cycle into a single, global document.

Year Region File
2003 Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea and Mediterranean SOCER2003.pdf
2004 North and South Pacific SOCER2004.pdf
2005 Arctic and Southern Ocean SOCER2005.pdf
2006 Indian Ocean SOCER2006.pdf
2007 Black Sea and Mediterranean SOCER2007.pdf
2008 Atlantic Ocean SOCER2008.pdf
2009 North and South Pacific SOCER2009.pdf
2010 Arctic Ocean SOCER2010.pdf
2011 Antarctic (Southern) Ocean SOCER2011.pdf
2012 Indian Ocean SC-64-E2-Final.pdf
2013 Mediterranean and Black Sea SC-65a-E01.pdf
2014 North and South Atlantic Ocean SC/65b/E01 Rev1
2015 Pacific Ocean SC/66a/E03 rev1


Polar Seas (Arctic/Southern Ocean)

SC/66b/E02 rev1


Indian Ocean

SC/67a/E05 rev1


Mediterranean and Black Sea



No Report



Atlantic Ocean

SC/68B/E/05 Rev 1


Pacific Ocean



Polar Seas (Arctic/Southern Ocean)



Indian Ocean


The report, whilst adopted by the Scientific Committee, is largely the work of the following editors, who should be contacted directly if you have any questions or comments.

Michael Stachowitsch - stachom5@univie.ac.at
Dept. of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, Bio-Oceanography and Marine Biology Unit, University of Vienna, Djerassiplatz 1, 1030 Vienna

Dept. of Paleontology, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090, Vienna, Austria

Naomi Rose - naomi@awionline.org

Animal Welfare Institute, 900 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington ,D.C. 20003, USA

Chris Parsons - ecparson@nsf.gov

Division of Ocean Sciences, National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, USA