Resolution 1995-7

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Environmental Change and Cetaceans

IWC Resolution 1997-7
Resolution on Environmental Change and Cetaceans

RECALLING that at its 44th Annual Meeting, the Commission adopted a Resolution establishing a regular agenda item in the Scientific Committee to address the impact of environmental change on whale stocks;

RECALLING that at its 45th Annual Meeting, the Commission adopted a Resolution recommending that the Scientific Committee gives priority to research on the effects of environmental changes on cetaceans in order to provide the best scientific advice to the Commission to determine appropriate response strategies to these new challenges;

FURTHER RECALLING that at its 45th Annual Meeting, the Commission reiterated its concern for the impact of pollutants in the marine environment by adopting a Resolution on the Preservation of the Marine Environment;

NOTING that at its 46th Annual Meeting, the Commission adopted a Resolution endorsing the plans of the Scientific Committee to pursue studies of environmental changes and their impacts on cetaceans, and identified priority areas that needed to be addressed in this context.

AWARE that the IWC has organised two special workshops, one on the effects of chemical pollution on cetaceans (Bergen, 1995) and the second on the effects of climate change on cetaceans (Hawaii, 1996) to this end;

NOTING that at its 48th Annual Meeting the Commission adopted a Resolution welcoming and endorsing the establishment by the Scientific Committee of its Standing Working Group on Environmental Concerns (SWGEC), to facilitate examination of the effect of environmental change on cetaceans, and directed the Scientific Committee, through its Standing Working Group to consider and act on the specific recommendations of the two IWC Workshops and other items identified as requiring additional examination, in order to develop non-lethal research programmes that will allow assessment of the impact of environmental change on cetaceans;

NOTING the allocation of funds, as proposed by the Scientific Committee and adopted by the Commission at its 49th Annual Meeting, for the

1997/1998 budget to support planning of such research;


WELCOMES the first report of the Standing Working Group on Environmental Concerns;

WELCOMES and ENDORSES the recommendations of the two intersessional meetings of the SWGEC, in Texel on pollution (SC/49/Rep 6) and La Jolla on climate change (SC/49/Rep 5) calling for long-term, collaborative, multidisciplinary, multinational research, and funding from the Commission to facilitate these activities;

NOTES that the SWGEC identified eight topics of particular importance to its work including: climate/environmental change, ozone depletion and UV-B radiation, chemical pollution, impact of noise, physical and biological habitat degradation, effects of fisheries, Arctic issues, disease and mortality events;

ENCOURAGES Contracting Governments to continue to provide available information on environmental changes as identified above and their known or potential ecological effects on cetaceans through annual Progress Reports and attendance of experts at meetings of the Scientific Committee;

RECOMMENDS that the Chairman of the Scientific Committee invites participants with necessary expertise in the field of environmental change to attend annual meetings of the Scientific Committee and contribute to its discussions on this topic;

ENDORSES the report of the Scientific Committee on environmental concerns, and directs it through the SWGEC to implement the recommendations of the Texel and La Jolla reports;
URGES the Scientific Committee to produce detailed scientific proposals for future work on environmental concerns on a multi-annual basis;

DIRECTS the Scientific Committee, through the SWGEC, to provide regular up-dates to the Commission on environmental matters that affect cetaceans and, in particular, those that relate to non-natural mortalities relevant to implementation simulation trials or future RMP catch limit calculations or that require the action of the Commission within future five year periods of validity of catch limit calculations;

ENCOURAGES Contracting Governments to carry out relevant non-lethal research within domestic and collaborative multinational and multi-disciplinary programmes and also to provide new and additional funds to support the work of the Scientific Committee and SWGEC in this regard.