Resolution 2016-2

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Improving the Review Process for Whaling under Special Permit

Noting the judgment of March 31, 2014 of the International Court of Justice in the case concerning Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zealand intervening);

Noting the Court's view that Contracting Governments to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling ("the Convention") have a duty to cooperate with the International Whaling Commission and Scientific Committee;

Affirming that the Scientific Committee is required to review and comment on proposed special permits as stipulated under paragraph 30 of the Schedule to the Convention, and that it is appropriate for the Commission to receive and consider the reports and recommendations of the Scientific Committee and make such recommendations under Article VI of the Convention as it sees fit;

Underscoring the importance of the Commission considering these reports and recommendations of the Scientific Committee and, to that end, being able to make recommendations in sufficient time to allow the Contracting Government concerned to give such recommendations due regard, in exercise of its duty to cooperate, prior to issuing a special permit;

Acknowledging in this respect the Scientific Committee's advice to the Commission on new, ongoing and completed special permit programmes;

Recalling Resolution 2014-5, which inter alia instructed the Scientific Committee, in its review of new and existing special permit research programmes, to provide advice to the Commission on:

    1. whether the design and implementation of the programme, including sample sizes, are reasonable in relation to achieving the programme's stated research objectives;
    2. whether the elements of the research that rely on lethally obtained data are likely to lead to improvements in the conservation and management of whales;
    3. whether the objectives of the research could be achieved by non-lethal means or whether there are reasonably equivalent objectives that could be achieved non-lethally;
    4. whether the scale of lethal sampling is reasonable in relation to the programme's stated research objectives, and non-lethal alternatives are not feasible to either replace or reduce the scale of lethal sampling proposed; and
    5. such other matters as the Scientific Committee considers relevant to the programme, having regard to the decision of the International Court of Justice, including the methodology used to select sample sizes, a comparison of the target sample sizes and the actual take, the timeframe associated with a programme, the programme's scientific output; and the degree to which a programme coordinates its activities with related research projects.

Gratefully acknowledging the constructive changes to the Annex P: Process for the Review of Special Permit Proposals and Research Results from Existing and Completed Permits (Annex P), adopted by the Scientific Committee at SC66a in 2015, and the efforts of the Scientific Committee and the Commission to improve other procedural matters

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