Skip to content
Common dolphin (delphinus delphis) Gulf of California Mexico.

Respite for dolphins in the Bay of Biscay

Bianca Cisternino Bianca is WDC's bycatch coordinator. She leads our work to protect whales and...
Lottie and Ed outside the Norwegian parliament

We’re working within Norway to end whaling

Lottie Pearson Lottie is WDC's campaign coordinator. She works to end whaling in Norway, Iceland,...
Leaping harbour porpoise

Success! Protection for porpoises at CMS

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...
Humpback whale playing with kelp

Why do humpback whales wear seaweed wigs?

Alison Wood Ali is WDC's education projects coordinator. She is the editor of Splash! and KIDZONE,...

Day Five of IWC 2016

Agenda Item 19 Finance and Administration

The meeting opens slightly late due to technical difficulties.

Bruno: regarding yesterday’s Agenda, I forgot to confirm that all delegates are happy for the Commission to endorse cooperation with other organisations? (General assent).  Also apologizes to IGO/NGOs that he was ‘a little too fast’ in closing yesterday.

 The Chair makes some small housekeeping updates before starting the day’s agenda items:

6.4 Revised document will be discussed today, following further work by the drafting group.

6.7 Resolution adopted, but still awaiting the agreed list of countries which neither joined nor blocked consensus.

7.1 Still awaiting the next steps of the ASW Working Group.

12 IWC in the future – document is already available (IWC/66/22)

14.1 NEWREP-A: proposals for text to be added to the report. Hopes that there’s been some progress.

6.1: Effectiveness of the IWC: still need to establish a Steering Committee at this meeting.

6.2 Special Permit: Resolution adopted, but still need to establish a standing working group.

The Chair next moved on to start the morning’s planned agenda items.


19.1 Administrative matters

The F&A met on 22nd October, the meeting was chaired by Ryan Wulff of the US. The Chair also notes that there are two additional agenda items on voluntary contributions, which he will later return to.

19.1.1: IWC Communications

The Secretariat reported on efforts to improve the internal and external communication progress, including ongoing programme of website updates and intersessional report series. Committee endorsed their future work plan.

19.1.2: IWC document archiving

The Secretariat continues to improve online resources for documents etc. Some additional programming is needed to make it faster and more user-friendly, plus some documents dating back to 1949 have yet to be uploaded. Will require extra budget or voluntary contributions.

19.1.3: Reporting of confidential communications

Nothing to report under this agenda item.

19.1.4: Meeting arrangements: additional support for involvement of observers.

There will be a further feedback survey after this meeting.

Simon from the Secretariat: encourages delegates to complete the feedback survey, which will be circulated today.

Two further admin items:

Disbursal of funds from the Southern Ocean Partnership researc fund. Approval for updated procedure and allocation.

Guidelines for allocation and use of voluntary funds in the intersessional period: Notes the Commission has well defined procedures for core contributions and a process was now proposed for dealing with vol contributions. These are currently around £300-500k annually, and are likely to exceed one million this year.

Discussions on the current status of the British pound  and whether prudent to hold some IWC funds in different currencies – a review in 2017 on currency allocations will address this.

19.2 Intersessional working groups

19.2.1 Operational effectiveness and cost-saving measures

Ryan: The Working Group on operational effectiveness and cost-saving measures considered 5 issues and made recommendations. These include a number of changes to rules of procedure and debate (full details in the F&A report) .

Modification proposed to rule E(4) to facilitation intersessional decision-making, by allowing more detail for the postal vote process.

Modification is proposed to rule A(1) to allow for more than one observer can speak under an agenda item.

Changes proposed to rule of procedure F(2)G and C(3) to make clear that the Chair can establish ad hoc groups and extend sessions as necessary in a commission meeting. Committee endorsed changes and recommends that the Commission adopts them.

One rule of procedural change is presented in square brackets (as there is no consensus) relates to the rule of procedure J(4) from the ASW expert workshop report, relating to catch limit proposals. Some felt it was premature to endorse this in advance of the ASW discussion in plenary. Discussions are encouraged to continue, and we now have slightly amended J4 as one of our plenary documents.

US: Endorses the idea of removing brackets from around the proposed change to J4. We think it will improve the process through which we consider new catch/strike limits for ASW hunt by trying to ensure that there are no ‘surprises’ and information is provided openly. US therefore recommends  that the square brackets are removed and this, plus other changes recommended, are now adopted by the Commission.

Argentina: thanks Ryan for his presentation (in Spanish).

Ryan: we should endeavour to avoid such a situation in the future. Asks the Commission if it is acceptable to take the recommendation and thus eliminate the square brackets? [Agreement] so we can now conclude this text.

19.2.2 Strengthening IWC financing

The 2010 IWC meeting endorsed a recommendation to set up a small group to look at ways to integrate conservation funding into the overall budget of the commission. Reprted on progress and offered to continue whilst looking for additional members for the group. Recommends Belgium continues as Chair.

Argentina (in Spanish)

Denmark: Wishes to draw meeting’s attention to the report of the Working Group on Operational Effectiveness, that states that it agrees that it doesn’t have the mandate or expertise to address infractions or to address specific concerns around catches in 2013-14 off Greenland. That was dealt with yesterday under the Infractions Committee, and the Operational Effectiveness group agrees it doesn’t have the expertise to deal with this matter here.

US: We did have some discussion on this under agenda item 17 on Infractions and also under the context of the ASW discussions; so these concerns have been already reflected in the record so there is no need to repeat this discussion here.

Bruno: There is no simple solution. Needs work to avoid a similar situation arising in the future and record everyone’s views on this in the record. Would like to move on now.

Endorses the work of the group and thanks Belgium for chairing this group.


19.2.3: Provision of options to Governments of limited means to participate in the Commission’s work.

Ryan:  Reports on progress during the intersessional period and presented recommendations, including  establishment of a voluntary fund, and a proposed resolution (Agenda Item 6).

There were some questions as to who the ‘limited capacity to pay’ groups 1 and 2 are – the most recent list of these may be found in Appendix 6 of the F&A report. Committee requested more time for additional discussions. Requests the Chair to work with various delegations to bring a revised resolution and associated guidelines to plenary.

Bruno: I will return to this later.

19.2.4 Website guidance

Ryan: this relates to the intersessional working group on website guidance to try to provide practical guidance on the use of the IWC website. Draft guidance document gives day to day management to the Secretariat but makes a distinction between subjects that are, and are not, endorsed by the Commission. Practical guidance now reads “work that has not received endorsement should be considered on a case-by-case basis and should be refer to the Chair and the Vice-Chair.”

Endorsed the proposal to subsume this WG into the WG on operational effectiveness and cost-saving measures.

Bruno: we endorse these recommendations. Thanks Ryan.

19.2.5: Development of the Scientific Committee’s rules of procedure

Ryan: First item concerns Changes to Sci. Comm.’s ROP arising from the resolution that was adopted in IWC 2014. (IWC2014-4). Chair of Sci. Comm. reported on this, the specific detail can be found at IWC66/F&A11. Sci comm. was looking for endorsement for amended ROP including guidance on whether a new paragraph 4(e) is required and if so, which of the 2 options should be incorporated. Preference for the second option and so the committee endorsed the revised Sci. Comm ROP and recommend incorporation of the second option for para 4(e) in the report.

Secondly, consideration of changes arising from the Sci Comm. meeting in 2016. Chair reported a request to update their procedures relating to invited participants (App 8 of F&A report). In general, the Committee was happy to accept and endorse the proposal from the SC listed in Appendix 8.

Bruno: happy to adopt all the recommendations on agenda item 19.2.5.

19.3: Financial contributions formula

Ryan: This is a standing agenda item regarding the formula for calculating  contributions; however there were no comments under this item.

Dominican Republic: (in Spanish)

19.4:  Financial statements

19.4.1 Provisional financial statement for 2016

Ryan: Chair of Budgetary Sub comm. reported. 2016 outcome will be affected by the Commission’s decision to purchase its Headquarters in Cambridge for £1 million.  It was also noted that receipts of ‘doubtful’ debts were higher than expected, at almost £250,00, so net result indicate a forecasted surplus of over £100,000 – resulting in a balance of the general fund, of around £1.1 million.

Reports on collection of financial contributions, and an update on proposed schedule for renovating the Red House (HQ). Committee recommends the Commission approves the spending of £10k to upgrade the warehouse section of the Red House (will be presented, with options, at IWC67).

Bruno: we can endorse this.

19.4.2: Scientific Committee work plan and research budget for 2017 and 2018

Ryan: Recommends that the Sci. Comm.’s research budget is approved, taking into account reservations expressed concerning Item SP01, which is a workshop to review the special permit proposal for a new research programme in the western North Pacific (as well as a change moving proposed line item BRG01 into SC02). It was requested that the budget associated with SP01 be placed in square brackets, so the revised research budget as noted is given as Appendix 10 of the F&A report, and the Committee endorsed bringing that to the Commission.

Japan: Wishes to raise the issue of the square bracket as regards the SP01 workshop. We recognize that a Resolution (on Special Permit whaling) was adopted yesterday, but we want to propose deleting the square bracket, so that SP01 is included in the Sci. Comm. budget.

NZ (speaking for Australia): Acknowledges Japan’s comments. In the spirit of cooperation and “recognising the efforts which all members put into the resolution adopted yesterday on Special permits, NZ and Australia are happy to remove the square brackets. In doing so, we hope Japan will cooperate with the Commission’s process for the consideration of Special Permit proposals and we will  consider our position on future funding options for other reviews on the basis of the degree of cooperation with the new proposal Japan has mentioned is coming and other ongoing proposals”.

Bruno:  happy to adopt the budget without square brackets and thanks all.

19.4.3 Commission budget for 2017 and 2018

Ryan: Proposed budget for the Commission for 2017-8. Two options were presented, both of which were balanced budgets where income and expenditure were planned to be equal.

Option 1: “Business as usual” scenario, which provided for a 0.3 rise in contributions to offset the UK’s prevailing inflation rate.

Option 2: Proposed raising contracting government contributions by almost 4% in order to generate an additional £65k to support new or ongoing areas of intersessional work.

In all other respects, the two budgets were identical.

The sub-committee recommended budget option 1, as well as press and observer fees associated with that. The Committee accepted that, endorsed their recommendation and recommended budget option 1 be adopted by the Commission as well as the associated press and observer fees.

Two further items were referred by other sub-committees or working groups:

The Conservation Committee has recommended approval of a bycatch initiative; and another under ‘whale killing methods and associated welfare issues’ as relates to strandings. In both cases, an expert panel and coordinator are being recommended. Estimated budget of around £50k for the proposed bycatch coordinator, and noted likely similar for the proposed strandings coordinator.

Committee recommends consideration for these, but as both are currently unbudgeted, costs may have to be met by voluntary contributions, at least initially.

Chair: Endorses recommendations of the F&A committee.

19.5 Budgetary sub-committee operations and membership

Ryan: Switzerland has offered to serve as one of the open-seat members, but the other seat as well as the post of Vice Chair remains vacant, so encourages contracting governments to fill these vacancies.

Bruno: encourages active participation!

19.6 Scientific Committee working methods

Caterina: Has nothing to table.

Bruno: encourages further feedback, thanks Ryan for Chairing the F&A Committee and closes this section. 

Now comes follow up on a few outstanding issues from previous sessions.

Agenda Item 6.1 is reopened (Enhancing the Effectiveness of the IWC) Decisions taken requires a standing committee. Chairman seeks to appoint a steering committee: USA volunteers, as does Costa Rica, Australia and Switzerland.

Agenda Item 6.2 Decision on Special Permits also requires the IWC to establish a standing working Group. Australia, USA, NZ, Costa Rica all volunteer, and Chair notes that others can join later.

6.1 and 6.2 are now closed.

6.4 Discussion on Resolution to Create a Fund for Governments of Limited Means IWC66/13 Rev2 now available to the meeting. Japan asks to keep this agenda item open as some discussions are still taking place.

6.7 Critically Endangered Vaquita

List of countries that did not block the consensus is handed over to go into the report

Agenda Item 7.1 ASW Working Group

Chair asks if a way forward has been achieved?

USA notes discussions amongst four ASW countries and others.

As part of the goal of improving the process, the Commission endorses the table on page 19 of the Expert Workshop report. Welcomes pilot use of table of requests for takes in 2019.

Action 16 is modified  ‘debate and decision [ideally by consensus].

Without prejudice to existing terminology and countries shall continue to supply documentation for ASW need.

Commission acknowledges that the working group organises its own work and a face-to-face meeting may be necessary. To report back at IWC67.

Chair rules that it is accepted.

Japan, goes back to the vaquita issue and reads out a statement on why they did not sign on to the vaquita Resolution.

The above member states that the resolution concerning the vaquita which is critically endangered…. we are deeply concerned about the state of the vaquita and associate ourselves with many statements made by Parties and NGOs…but note that the IWC has no legal status to influence fisheries etc… and therefore the Resolution is of limited effectiveness.”

Meeting breaks for coffee.

Agenda Item 12 The IWC in the Future

[Ed. Please note Japan had posted a discussion document on IWC website]

Japan explains that they need more time to discuss with friends and IWC colleagues. 

Agenda Item 12 closed.

Agenda Item 14.1 NEWREP-A

New Zealand notes that they are still working on it and would like some more time.

Agenda Item 6.4 Governments of Limited Means

Japan says they have a new version, but some countries have differences of opinion, so the Chair opens the floor for comments 

Togo: speaks in support of the Resolution.

St Vincent: is “disappointed that we have had this treatment by the IWC… we did not cause the global meltdown, we have survived slavery and colonialism, all of our resources have been used by the developed world. We do not come cap in hand, we are the melting pot, and we are the maladies of Europe, the drums of Africa, the developed privileged nations have a duty to help or participation. Any refusal to [reach consensus] is an attempt to muscle us out of, or reject us from this forum.”

Colombia: (on behalf of the BAG) appreciates the work done to date but has some doubts and proposes to work intersessionally to adopt this resolution by consensus.

Japan asks for adoption by consensus.

Argentina notes and supports the comments Colombia expressed on behalf of the BAG. Says that the group still has some doubts and proposes to ask this commission to work intersessionally on this issue to achieve consensus, but not possible to reach it yet.

Chair tries to have it adopted by consensus, despite Colombia’s intervention

Netherlands requests 10 minutes for EU coordination, but the Chair refuses.

The Secretariat notes that Panama now has voting rights.

Agenda 6.4 Resolution on Governments of Limited Means

Passes 30 for, 0 against, 31 abstain and 1 not participating  

Netherlands (for the EU) states that “As we had no time to coordinate we had to abstain.”

NZ: voted in favour as we fully believe in full participation, this fund should be used to fund technical capacity, theConservation Committee, Sci Comm and to take on office positions.

Thanks Japan, and says that there is room for discussion on implementation, and only sorry that it could not be adopted by consensus

Australia: voted yes on its merits, but we agree there is room for improvements and we need to allow for further review.

USA: associated with the comments of Australia and New Zealand but would have liked time to develop consensus.

Argentina: doesn’t oppose giving governments of limited means the opportunity to participate of governments, but there were doubts on eligibility criteria and compatibility with the present rules of the convention. We would have preferred to have reached consensus through intersessional work 

Chair calls for progress on NEWREP-A Statements.

New Zealand would like to make a statement just before lunch, but Antigua and Antigua need time and this is confirmed by Antigua & Barbuda.

Agenda Item 20 Reports 

20. 1 2015 Report of the Sci Comm (SC66a) – Adopted

20.2 2016 Report of the Sci Comm (SC66b) – Adopted

20.3 Report on Working group on whale killing methods and welfare issues -Adopted

20.4 Report on Infractions Sub-Committee  – Adopted

20.5 Report on Budgetary Sub-committee – Adopted

20.6 Report of the Conservation Committee – Adopted

20.7 Report of the ASW Sub-Committee – Adopted 

20.8 Report of the Finance and Administration Committee – Adopted 

Meeting breaks for lunch


Back from Lunch

Agenda Item 14. 1 NEWREP-A

New Zealand reads out the statement from the conservation countries’ position on NEWREP-A

For the Commission’s report:

“In accordance with Resolution 2014-5, the Commission considered the report of the Scientific Committee on NEWREP-A.

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and the United States, a majority of members attending the meeting:

(1) noted with concern that Japan issued special permits before the Scientific Committee review was complete and before the Commission had considered the report of the Scientific Committee on NEWREP-A;
(2) assessed that on the basis of the information before the Commission, NEWREP-A is not ‘for purposes of scientific research’ as required by Article VIII(1) of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
(3) requested that Japan cease the lethal component of NEWREP-A.”

Antigua and Barbuda: thanks NZ for its sense of balance, which is good for this organisation. AB, Japan and others that oppose the Special Permits Resolution reaffirm our opposition to that resolution, as it is in conflict with Article A of the ICRW and paragraph 30 of the Schedule. Non-binding resolutions should lead to instructions to the Commission.

NEWREP-A is entirely within the purview of Article VIII and thus Japan is appropriate in issuing quotas and NEWREP-A conforms to the ICJ judgement (full text will be sent to Secretariat)

25. Adoption of summary of outcomes and required actions of  document IWC66/Main Outcomes

Document in front of Commission and the Commission works through point by point

USA: asks for addition of “The Commission welcomed use of a pilot timeline and process for consideration of catch/strike limit request made in 2018” to ASW Item 7.

Dominican Republic: asks does the US refer to the North Atlantic humpback whales?

The Secretariat reads out the text again.

Dominican Republic states it’s precisely in that line that the Sci.Comm. alleges that they recognise that the data are based on the studies performed in 2004-2005. We believe these data are not sufficiently up to date enough to enable assessments of capture limits and we suggest this line should be revised.

Chair rules that its adopted.

NB text following in italics is taken verbatim from reports and other outputs.

Item 8: The Commission received a report of intersessional work to exchange views on basic issues related to small type coastal whaling via a questionnaire from Japan which was distributed by the Secretariat. Noting the issues raised were relevant to the IWC’s future, the Commission agreed to continue these discussions under Agenda Item 12 (The IWC in the Future). 

Antarctic minke whales 

• The Scientific Committee will publish a consolidated assessment of Indo-Pacific Antarctic minke whales in 2017 

Southern Hemisphere humpback 

• The Scientific Committee reported that Southern Hemisphere humpback whales are generally recovering well. Abundance in 2015 is estimated at around 97,000 – about 70% of the pre-whaling level. 

Southern Hemisphere right whales 

• The Scientific Committee reiterated the importance of governments maintaining the long-term monitoring of populations off South Africa, Argentina and Australia. It provided support to Conservation Management 

Plans for the Southwest Atlantic and eastern South Pacific. 

Southern Hemisphere blue whales 

• The Scientific Committee is reviewing new information to decide whether to undertake regional assessments of Southern Hemisphere blue whales. It continues to develop and support photo-identification catalogues throughout the region. 

North Pacific sei whales 

• The Scientific Committee expects to complete its assessment of North pacific sei whales in 2018. 

Western North Pacific gray whales 

• The Scientific Committee expects to complete a rangewide review of the status of North Pacific gray whales in 2017 to support an updated Conservation Management Plan. It expressed concern over oil and gas activities and fishing activities in the western Pacific and urges governments to facilitate collaborative data sharing and analyses to support conservation measures. 

North Pacific and North Atlantic right whales and small stocks of bowhead whales 

• Concern was expressed over a number of small stocks of these species, where ship strikes and entanglements are important threats. An assessment of western North Atlantic right whales is planned in 2017. 

IWC-POWER North Pacific Research cruises 

• The IWC-POWER (North Pacific Ocean Whale and Ecosystem Research) international programme continues successfully, covering many areas not surveyed for decades. Seven cruises have been completed. The Bering Sea will be covered from 2017-2019. Analyses of the individual identification photographs, genetic samples and sightings data is progressing. Support for obtaining permits to undertake research in national waters was requested. 

Item 9.2 

Small cetaceans status and review 

• The Scientific Committee is conducting a review on taxonomy of Tursiops sp. and reviewed a number of small cetaceans species and populations around the world. 

• The Commission received several progress reports on conservation actions that were being taken or proposed for populations/species for which the Scientific Committee has expressed concern. Particular concern was expressed over critically endangered species, subspecies and populations of cetaceans (e.g. the vaquita, Māui dolphins, Yangtze finless porpoise, Baltic Harbour porpoise and the already extinct baiji) for which stringent management measures on bycatch, within well specified boundaries, are immediately needed, rather than additional research. 

• The Commission welcomed the progress of the Small Cetaceans Task Team Initiative. 

The fund for Small Cetacean Conservation Research. 

• The Commission was. pleased to note the excellent work undertaken in projects funded under the Small Cetaceans Voluntary Fund and endorsed the Committee’s funding recommendation for seven new projects on small cetaceans’ research and conservation selected by the Scientific Committee last June 

• The Commission welcomed a number of additional donations to the Small Cetaceans Voluntary Fund including from Italy (€4000), the Netherlands (TBC), the UK (£10,000), Animal Welfare Institute ($500), Cetacean Society International ($500), Whale and Dolphin Conservation ($500), Environmental Investigations Agency ($3,000), International Fund for Animal Welfare ($500), LegaSeas ($300), N C Azzam ($500), Ocean Care (€1,000), Pro Wildlife (€2,000), Whaleman ($1,000). These new donations allow to fund six out of seven of the newly recommended projects by the Scientific Committee (pending details on the Netherlands donation)

• The Commission welcomed a donation from Italy of €15,000 for the Franciscana Task Team. 

• The Commission expressed its appreciation to governments and NGOs that have contributed to the Voluntary Fund. 

 Cetacean Habitat and related Items 

State of the Cetacean Environment (SOCER) 

• The Commission received reports for the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

Cetacean Health and Disease 

• Work on an online portal with respect to cetacean diseases of concern is ongoing. 

POLLUTION 2020 research programme 

• The Scientific Committee continues good progress with its Pollution 2020 programme which is looking at effects of chemical pollution on cetaceans. An online tool for visualising contaminant concentrations in cetaceans around the world is progressing well. Specific recommendations on research and to governments were endorsed. 

Ecosystem modelling 

• Modelling is an important component of understanding the role of cetaceans in the environment and any conservation implications. A joint workshop with CCAMLR (The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) is planned. 

Arctic Ocean 

• The Scientific Committee used the scientific recommendations from a 2014 Commission workshop on the impacts of increased in marine activities on cetaceans in the Arctic as the basis for its work. Co-operation with the Arctic Councils Protection on the Marine Environment Working group was initiated and endorsed. 

Climate Change 

• The Scientific Committee continued to build upon the work of previous specialist workshops on this topic. A workplan is being developed and the focus will be on riverine/freshwater and coastal small cetaceans, large whales in polar regions and further links with relevant international bodies. 

• The Commission noted that the Conservation Committee had included the issue of climate change as a priority threat in its Strategic Plan. 

Decadal Review of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary (SOS) 

• The Scientific Committee reviewed scientific aspects of the SOS and reported these to the Conservation Committee. The Conservation Committee reported on its review of the Southern Ocean Sanctuary (SOS) which concluded that the sanctuary is consistent with existing measures to protect whales from anthropogenic threats and other environmental factors, that it contributes positively to a number of existing international commitments on biodiversity and climate change, and that it is consistent with the precautionary approach. The Commission endorsed the reports from these Committees. 

Unintended Anthropogenic Impacts Item 11

Marine Debris 

• The Commission welcomed progress made in addressing the issue of marine debris. It endorsed the recommendations of the Conservation Committee and Scientific Committee on marine debris and encouraged further co-operation with other organisations, including the Global Partnership for Marine Litter (GPML) and the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI). 

Cetacean bycatch 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations of the Conservation Committee and Scientific Committee on cetacean bycatch including the establishment of a Standing Working Group on Bycatch under the Conservation Committee; and the development of a Bycatch Mitigation Initiative supported by an Expert Panel. The Commission welcomed the offer of Mark Simmonds (UK) to act as an interim bycatch Co-ordinator to assist with these efforts, on a voluntary basis. 

Anthropogenic sound 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations from a Scientific Committee workshop on acoustic masking and whale population dynamics, including that: there is compelling evidence that chronic human-induced noise affects the marine habitat and some cetacean populations; that management actions addressing noise issues should not wait for scientific certainty; and that this issue should be brought to the attention of the International Maritime Organisation. 

• The Commission noted that the Conservation Committee had included the issue of anthropogenic sound as a priority threat in its Strategic Plan. 

Ship Strikes 

• The Commission welcomed an update on the development of a draft Ship Strikes Strategic Plan and looked forward to the final version due by the end of November 2016. 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations of the Conservation Committee and Scientific Committee, including that the IWC should continue engagement with the IMO. 

• The Commission encouraged reporting to the Ship Strikes Database. 

Item 12 The IWC in the Future

The Commission [initiated discussion based on a] [deleted ‘adopted a’] proposal to establish an Intersessional Working Group on the Way Forward (WG-WF). The WG-WF will discuss issues on whales and whaling which are necessary to the sound and fair functioning of the IWC. It will work initially by correspondence, and will distribute its report at least 60 days prior to IWC67.

Australia questions that the discussion was to come and not focussed on the Japanese document.

Japan agrees that and suggests the above amend.

Australia notes that the document refers to IWC being dysfunctional, so is opposed to keeping reference to document as being foundation of discussion.

USA agrees with Australia and asks to postpone this text.

Chair notes EU and others may agree with USA and Australia.

Japan: We can accept “Commission agreed to initiate discussion around disputes within IWC

New Zealand suggests “Commision agreed to continue discussions on functioning of IWC”

Chairman asks whether we need to create a drafting group: NZ, USA, Aus and Japan, to try to find wording acceptable to all?

Whale Killing methods and associated  welfare issues

The Commission welcomed the reports from a number of governments on their hunting operations or events requiring euthanasia. It also welcomed reports from Norway and the USA on their contributions to improvements in whaling operations and a presentation from NAMMCO on their Expert Group Meeting on Assessing Time to Death from the Large Whale Hunts. 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations from the IWC Workshop to Support the Consideration of Non-Hunting Related Aspects of Cetacean Welfare in May 2016. The primary focus of these is to take forward work to further develop a draft cetacean welfare assessment framework 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations of the third IWC Workshop on Large Whale Entanglement Issues and recommended the continuation of the valuable work on entanglements including training workshops and capacity building, and the development of a global entanglement database. 

• The Commission endorsed the recommendations presented in the summary report of the joint IWC, NOAA, NEAq Workshop on Global Assessment of Large Whale Entanglement and Bycatch Reduction in Fishing and Aquaculture Gear and looks forward to receiving and advancing its more detailed report. 

• The Commission endorsed the report and recommendations from the IWC Workshop to Develop Practical Guidance for the Handling of Cetacean Stranding Events, May 2016.. 

• The Commission endorsed the Scientific Committee recommendations on strandings, including establishment of a co-ordinator and expert panel to provide guidance to response and investigations. It also provided advice on a mass mortality of sei whales in Chile in 2015. 

• The Commission expressed appreciation for the Voluntary contributions announced by the UK of £15,000 and by a coalition of NGOs of $3,000. 

• The Commission thanked Michael Stachowitsch for his service as Chair, and welcomed any volunteers to take on this position. 

Scientific Permits Item 14


• The Scientific Committee presented the results of its extensive discussions and those of an Expert Panel review of the new proposal by Japan for a special permit programme on Antarctic minke whales, in light of Resolution 2014-5 

• In Commission discussions it was clear that there is no agreement on this issue and Governments recorded their statements for the report. 


• The Scientific Committee presented the results of its discussions and those of an Expert Panel final review of the JARPNII special permit programme by Japan in light of Resolution 2014-5. 

• In Commission discussions it was clear that there is no agreement on this issue and Governments recorded their statements for the report. 

Australia asks clarification on similarity

Secretariat offers to cut the last line to be, “ In Commission discussions it was clear that there is no agreement on this issue”

Australia asks how interventions will be recorded and Secretariat confirms that all will be in full report.

Chair of Sci Comm asks about endorsement of Annex P in record?

Secretariat confirms it will be recorded.

Procedures used by the Scientific Committee for reviewing special permits 

• The Scientific Committee reported on its work to incorporate Resolution 2014-5 into its formal process for the review of special permit proposals or review if ongoing or completed research permit programmes. It also reported on working measure it had taken to improve such reviews. 

Safety at Sea

Japan drew attention to the violent activities against its research vessels in the Southern Ocean during previous seasons and requested necessary actions by the relevant member states concerned. 

• The Commission reiterated that it does not condone, and in fact condemns, any activities that are a risk to human life and property in relation to the activities of vessels at sea (see Resolution 2011-2). 

New Zealand asks to add the Commission reiterated more than just recorded here.

Japan wants to keep the wording as-is.

New Zealand perhaps add a sentence after ‘concerned’ and I shall send you [suggested text].

Chair asks for Japan’s permission.

New Zealand offers after first sentence ending by relevant member states concerned “Several member states reaffirmed the strength of existing  legal frameworks for addressing issue of safety for sea’

Conservation Management Plans

Western North Pacific gray whale CMP 

• The Commission received an update on a rangewide review of the population structure and status of North Pacific gray whales and welcomed plans to update and finalise the draft CMP. The Commission welcomed new information from the US Navy on the occurrence of gray whales in autumn, winter and spring in the western North Pacific. 

• The Commission congratulated Korea and Mexico for signing the range state Memorandum of Co-operation on the Western North Pacific Gray Whale. Japan, the Russian Federation and the USA signed in 2014. 

Southwest Atlantic southern right whale CMP 

• The Commission received an update on recent workshops to progress implementation of the Southwest Atlantic Southern Right Whale CMP. The Commission thanked Miguel Iñiguez (Argentina) for his work as coordinator and thanked Brazil for taking on the role. 

Australia asks for slight amend. 

South-east Pacific southern right whale CMP 

• The Commission received an update on recent work to progress implementation of the Eastern South Pacific Southern Right CMP. This included a revised CMP, now including Peru as a range state. 

Additional CMP proposals 

• The Commission welcomed the draft Conservation Management Plan for the franciscana and agreed to nominate and endorse this CMP during this meeting. 

• The Commission recommended dialogue between the Government of Oman and other IWC member Governments to discuss the potential of a CMP for Arabian Sea humpback whales. 

Report of the Standing Working Group on Conservation Management Plans (SWG-CMP) 

• The Commission endorsed all the recommendations of the SWG-CMP including the proposal for a mid-term review of the CMP Work Plan 2014-2020, to be undertaken during the 2016-2018 intersessional period. 

• The Commission encouraged further contributions to the Conservation Management Plans Fund. 

Item 16.2 Whale Watching

Joint workshop on capacity building for whale and dolphin watching in the Indian Ocean Region 

• The Committee heard a report of a workshop Sustainable Whale and Dolphin Watching Tourism in the Indian Ocean region. It endorsed the recommendations on ways that the IWC could support the IORA Network and continue to implement Objective 3 of the IWC’s Strategic Plan for Whalewatching

Progress report by the whale watching Standing Working Group 

• The Commission welcomed progress on the development of an online Whale Watching Handbook. It endorsed the recommendations of the Scientific Committee and the SWG-WW, including on collaboration and fund raising to support the further development of the Handbook. The Commission recommended that the CMS join the Standing Working Group to take forward Whale Watching Handbook and thanked the CMS for its offer to support the Handbook with translation in French and Spanish. The Commission agreed that the 5-year Strategic Plan on Whale Watching, which ends in 2016, should continue as the overarching strategy on whale watching and can be updated intersessionally 

• The Commission encouraged contributions to the Voluntary Conservation Fund to support the development of the Handbook 

16.3-16.4 Other conservation issues

The Commission welcomed national reports on cetacean conservation from a number of countries. It noted that an intersessional group under the Conservation Committee would review and develop the report template to align it with the new Conservation Committee Strategic Plan. It agreed Terms of Reference for an annual Conservation Committee planning meeting. 

• The Commission welcomed and endorsed the Conservation Committee (CC) Strategic Plan. 

• It commended the work of the Joint Conservation Committee Scientific Working Group and endorsed recommendations, including to establish an intersessional working group to guide the development of a web-accessible database of conservation related recommendations 

• The Commission welcomed progress with engaging other organisations on conservation issues of mutual interest. 

• The Commission thanked the UK for a contribution of £15,000 to the Voluntary Conservation Fund. 

Belgium noted a typo on committees.

Item 17.1 The revised Management Procedure (RMP)

Revised Management Procedure (RMP) 

• The Commission reviewed progress on the Scientific Committee’s work on the RMP and related matters which included matters related to the MSYR, testing, possible amendments and survey guidelines. The Implementation Review for western North Atlantic fin whales was completed. That for North Atlantic common minke whales is ongoing and should be completed in 2017. 

• No work was undertaken on the Revised Management Scheme. 

Iceland north Atlantic fin whales and not ‘western’

Item 17.2 Infractions

The Commission reviewed: 

o infractions reported in the 2014, 2014/15, 2015 and 2015/6 seasons; 

follow-up reports from previous years; 

o information on the domestic surveillance of whaling operations; and 

information on the provision of data. 

• The Commission discussed the Report of the Infractions Sub-Committee including the unresolved issue of catches taken in Greenland 2013 and 2014. Some members considered that these catches should be reported as infractions. The Kingdom of Denmark, supported by others, did not agree with this view. There was support for measures to ensure that a situation in which no ASW catch limits are set should not occur in the future, such as the change agreed to Rules of Procedure J4. 

USA: wants to delete ‘change’ . This was agreed. 

17.3 Catches by Non-IWC states

The Commission was pleased to receive information on catches and quotas from Canada’s bowhead hunt. The Secretary will continue to request such information from Canada. 

• The Secretary will continue to seek information on other catches by non-member Governments (eg from the Government of Indonesia) 

Item 18 Cooperations with other organistaions

The Commission welcomed progress on co-operation with other organisations and the work of the Secretariat, Scientific Committee and other Committee’s in this respect. It endorsed the next steps proposed in Document IWC/66/4. 

Item 19 F&A

The Commission endorsed the Secretariat’s report on communications and received reports on document archiving, communications and meeting arrangements. 

• Proposals relating to the disbursal of SORP funds were endorsed, and guidance for distribution of voluntary funds in the intersessional period was also endorsed. 

• The Commission noted the status of the British pound and that a Risk Management Strategy, including a review of currency management, would be developed for IWC 67. 

• The Commission adopted the report of the Working Group on Operational Effectiveness, including [all] proposed changes to [the] Rules of Procedure [and debate]. The Commsion also adopted [a] Rules of Procedure  J4. 

• The Commission endorsed the work of the Working Group on Strengthening Operational Effectiveness, including that the Working Group on Website Guidance be subsumed into this group. 

• The Commission endorsed the work of the Intersessional Correspondence Group on Strengthening IWC Financing [Work Plan], and requested Belgium to continue as Chair. 

• The Commission adopted a series of changes to the Scientific Committee’s Rules of Procedure in response to Resolution 2014-4 and a separate proposal from the Chair of the Scientific Committee. 

Belgium noted intervention square bracket above.

Japan notes resolution on Governments of Limited Means, asks if this means changes to the text to reflect adoption?

Chair: rules not necessary for the summary report.

Item 19.4 Finance statement and Budget

The Financial Statements for the 2013/14 and 2015 financial years, as well as the provisional financial statement for 2016, were endorsed. 

• The Commission adopted the budget of the Scientific Committee including the removal of square brackets from the Special Permit Review item. 

• The budget for 2017 and 2018 was adopted, including an increase in line with UK inflation of 0.3%. 

• The Commission endorsed a request from the Secretariat to incur expenditure of c.£10,000 in relation to developing proposals for the warehouse at IWC Headquarters. These proposals will be reported to IWC 67. 

The Chair of the Finance & Administration Committee informed members of the Commission that there are currently vacancies on the Budgetary Sub-Committee. 

Date and Place of Next Meeting

The Government of Brazil kindly offered to host the next meeting of the Commission, IWC67 in 2018.. 

• The Government of Slovenia kindly agreed to host the Scientific Committee meeting in 2017 in Bled 

• The Government of Kenya kindly agreed to host the Scientific Committee meeting in 2018 


Chair notes approaches by Belgium and Luxemburg and offers the floor.

Fabian speaks on behalf of Belgium marking the IWC66 ‘tie contest’ which are shown on screen and all to vote on best.

Luxembourg, speaking for first time  but voting rights only to ladies.

This one shows average density of whales pre and post-whaling era

One tie reference to culture of whales, and one looks like an NGO logo [Thats WDC]

Some even have small cetaceans – no political comments intended

Tie 12 wins – Moby Dick wins and its ‘Japan’ 🙂

21 Election of Officers

Election of Chair

USA: nominates a colleague, who we do not always agree with, but whom we can talk with and has emphasised cooperation – Joji,  Japanese Commissioner, who accepts the nomination

Meeting congratulates Joji.

Netherlands nominates Andrei, the Commissioner for Slovenia 

Mexico and Australia thank the outgoing chair and Guinea and India join in congratulations.

Austria nominates New Chair of Whale Killing working Group is to be Hermann of South Africa

The United Kingdom welcomes Hermann into the role.

Chairman notes the need for a Chair of ASW sub-committee.

Japan notes that IWC67 will be important as quotas will be allocated, so would like to nominate Bruno to the chairmanship. Bruno accepts what may be a difficult post next meeting.

Denmark and the USA welcomes Bruno into role.

22 Bureau Membership

Japan, Slovenia and the USA at the moment. 

The host of next meeting becomes a member of the Bureau, but need four more seats. Australia offers to continue, Guinea offers to join, Mexico also. St Vincent nominates St Lucia.

Japan asks for clarification of Bureau.

Chair (Japan), Vice Chair (Slovenia), USA, Brazil, Australia, Argentina, [Guinea], and St Lucia.

Guinea notes it did not offer, but Ghana is willing to stand.

23. Timing and Venue of next meeting 

Brazil will be next host (shows a video of location)

Next meeting of Sci. Comm. will be again in Bled in Slovenia in 2017

Kenya will host Sci Comm in 2018.

Kenya notes new law on fisheries management including marine mammals and whales. Kenya has already started building on work with UNEP for this forthcoming meeting.

Agenda Item 25.2 Chair’s closing remarks

Bruno gives his thanks to the meeting and closes IWC66.