IWC Scientific Committee Meets in Slovenia

The Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) met in Bled, Slovenia, in May. At these intense, annual two-week working meetings, up to 200 international cetacean biologists and policy experts discuss a broad range of topics relating to cetacean conservation. Three to four concurrent sessions are held in multiple time slots each day, to address a long and complex agenda. The final report goes to the biennial meeting of IWC member nations, where it guides the decision-making process there. AWI marine mammal scientist Dr. Naomi A. Rose has been participating in Scientific Committee meetings since 1999. She has focused primarily on the subcommittees on whale watching (where she serves as rapporteur), environmental concerns, and small cetaceans. The participation of AWI wildlife biologist DJ Schubert for the first time in person allowed AWI to also cover the subcommittees on aboriginal subsistence whaling and ecosystem modeling. Together with colleagues from other organizations, we managed to get some strong recommendations into the report, including about the endangered vaquita, the Greenland hunts for small cetaceans, and chemical pollution in the ocean.

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