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Pacific whale and ecosystem research programme
completes 11th annual cruise.

The IWC's Pacific Ocean Whale and Ecosystem Research programme (IWC-POWER) has successfully completed its annual cruise and returned to port in Japan.

IWC-POWER is a long-term programme to determine the status of populations of large whales found in North Pacific Waters, many of which have not been studied for several decades.  The information obtained by the cruises helps scientists to understand whether conservation threats exist for particular species and locations and if so, what mitigation measures might be required to address these threats.

The research vessel, Yushin Maru No. 2, is provided by the Government of Japan, and the long-term scientific programme has been designed and approved by the IWC’s Scientific Committee and its 88 member governments.  The Government of Japan left the IWC in June but co-operation continues in a number of research areas.   

The 2020 cruise spent 76 days at sea and covered over 2400 nautical miles.  The team managed to take 65 biopsy samples from a wide range of species including blue, fin and sei whales.  These samples will be used to conduct DNA analysis and, once assessed, all the findings of this latest voyage will be presented to the IWC’s Scientific Committee at its next meeting in Spring 2021.

To read more about the IWC-POWER programme click here.

Click here to be taken to the IWC-POWER image gallery.