Resolution 2001-12

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Dall’s Porpoise

Resolution 2001-12
Resolution on Dall’s Porpoise
RECOGNISING that for more than a decade there has been concern about the status of Dall’s porpoise stocks
impacted by the Japanese hand-harpoon fishery, and that the Government of Japan has provided much valuable
information to assess the status of these stocks in the past, leading to a substantial decrease in the numbers taken,
although not to the levels recommended by the Scientific Committee;

WHEREAS in 1999 the Commission directed the Scientific Committee to review the status of Dall’s porpoise stocks
exploited in the Japanese hand harpoon hunt and that this review was carried out at the 53
rd meeting of the Scientific

NOTING however, that this year data for the Dall’s porpoise status review was not made available by the
Government of Japan, and that the work of the Scientific Committee was hampered because of this;

CONCERNED that the most recent abundance estimate for the exploited stocks was made in 1991, and that since
this time more than 130,000 Dall’s porpoises have been reported taken;

NOTING that there has been a recent increase in the proportion of lactating females in some catches which may
reflect a change in hunting techniques whereby hunters target females with dependent calves;

FURTHER NOTING that reported catch statistics are also limited by the absence of data on number of individuals
struck and lost, inaccurate reporting on a stock-by-stock basis and the absence of data on age, sex and reproductive

NOTING the Scientific Committee’s report that a total of 11,973 Dall’s porpoises were taken as by-catch from 1993
to 1999 in the Japanese salmon drift-net fishery that operates in the Russian EEZ, and that some of these by-catches
are from the stocks impacted by the Japanese harpoon fishery;

FURTHER NOTING that the Scientific Committee reported that these by-catches should be considered in any future
assessment of Dall’s porpoises in this region;

NOTING ALSO that the Scientific Committee recommended that Governments should report by-catches of Dall’s
porpoises on an annual basis to the Scientific Committee;

NOTING that in 1990 the Scientific Committee recommended that catches of Dall’s porpoises should be reduced to
levels below 10,000 each year, and that, subsequently, catches have exceeded these levels;

CONCERNED that reported levels of directed takes alone exceed levels considered by the Scientific Committee to
be sustainable;

NOTING that the Scientific Committee reiterated its extreme concern for these stocks and repeated its previous
recommendations that catches be reduced as soon as possible to sustainable levels;

DIRECTS the Scientific Committee to carry out a full assessment of the status of exploited Dall’s porpoise stocks as
soon as sufficient additional information becomes available;

CALLS ON the Government of Japan to provide information necessary to carry out such an assessment; namely
improved catch statistics for each stock, including information on age, sex and reproductive status and numbers
struck and lost, and new abundance estimates for each stock;

REQUESTS all governments with fisheries in the range of these stocks to fully report by-catch to the Scientific
Committee on an annual basis;

URGES the Government of Japan to halt the directed takes of Dall’s porpoises until a full assessment by the
Scientific Committee has been carried out.