Resolution 1997-2

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Improved Monitoring of Whale Product Stockpiles

RECOGNISING the progress in establishing reliable techniques for identifying the origin of whale meat and
whale products, including the species and geographic stock of origin and individual identification of legally
obtained and marketed whale products, through DNA testing and genetic analysis;

NOTING the recent accomplishments of Japan, Norway and the United States in the establishment of reference
sets of ‘type species’ of cetacean DNA sequences for use in addressing the problems of unreported bycatch and
illegal trade by determining the source species and geographic origin of such products and the development of
market survey programmes utilising DNA testing by some member governments;

RECOGNISING that some whale products legally sold in the domestic markets of some countries are from
sources (such as frozen stockpiles and fisheries bycatch) that are not systematically sampled, making it difficult
for fisheries personnel to develop market survey programmes to determine the origin of whale meat sold

RECOGNISING FURTHER that CITES has called upon member nations to report on the status of stockpiles of
whale meat, in order to facilitate the monitoring of illegal trade, and has invited all countries concerned to co-
operate in determining the sources of whale meat in cases of smuggling or unknown identity;

NOW THERFORE the International Whaling Commission:
ENCOURAGES all Contacting Governments to provide information to the IWC about the size of remaining
stockpiles and the species of origin of meat remaining in stockpiles, and to collect and inventory skin or meat
samples for DNA identification from all whales that enter into commerce, and to make the DNA database
available to the IWC;

REQUESTS that the IWC Secretariat forward to the CITES Secretariat this Resolution and this year’s reports of
the Infractions Sub-committee and the Scientific Committee.