Resolution 2012-1

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on the importance of continued scientific research with regard to the impact of the degradation of the marine environment on the health of cetaceans and related human health effects

RECALLING IWC Resolutions 1998-11, 1999-4 and 2000-6 expressing the Commission’s concern about the negative effects of environmental degradation on cetaceans, in particular the existence of high levels of organic contaminants and heavy metals; and NOTING that, while the consumption of cetaceans products may have positive health effects, scientific evidence demonstrates that some communities may be faced with health problems arising from the high level of such contaminants that are present in those products in their diet; ALSO RECALLING that IWC Resolution 1998-11 invites Governments directly affected to submit, when possible, reliable information to the IWC relating to possible human health effects resulting from the consumption of cetacean products, and encourages the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other appropriate agencies to put this issue on their own agenda; FURTHER RECALLING that IWC Resolution 2000-7 notes that the study of the effects of environmental changes on cetaceans is an integral part of their conservation and management; NOTING to this effect that the need for rigorous scientific advice and risk assessments for cetaceans lies at the heart of the work undertaken by the Scientific Committee, inter alia, under the Pollution 2000+ research program, endorsed by the IWC at its 51st Annual Meeting; NOTING that IWC Resolution 1999-4 requests the Scientific Committee to receive, review and collate data on contaminant burdens in cetaceans and forward these as appropriate to the WHO and competent national authorities, and to report on this matter to the Commission; RECALLING that organic contaminants and heavy metals are seriously polluting the environment and its living resources including some species of whales in some areas, and may have a significant negative health effect on consumers of products from these marine mammals; NOTING the recent assessments and recommendations of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme Working Group of the Arctic Council in its report ‘Arctic Pollution 2011’ (Mercury in the Arctic); and NOTING that IWC Resolution 1999-4 instructing the IWC Secretariat to correspond with the World Health Organization (WHO) has led to an exchange of information;

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