RECALLING that Contracting Governments recognise the interest of nations of the world in conserving for future generations the great resources represented by whale stocks;
CONSIDERING that historic whaling resulted in over-fishing of one area after another and one whale stock after another to such a degree that it became essential to protect these whale stocks from further over-fishing;
AWARE that historic whaling severely depleted blue whale stocks to such a degree that further exploitation was prohibited by the IWC, and that in spite of that measure blue whale stocks remain at extremely low levels and show no significant evidence of immediate recovery;
RECOGNISING the importance of taking appropriate conservation measures for assisting depleted whale stocks, and especially stocks of the most severely depleted species such as the blue whale;
AWARE that the Scientific Committee conducted a preliminary review on the research proposal put forward by the Government of Japan;
AWARE further, the Scientific Committee supported the research proposal in principle and that it agreed that the proposal had merit and is directly relevant to the work of the Commission;
Now THEREFORE the Commission
ADOPTS the recommendation of the Scientific Committee to establish an intersessional steering group to identify objectives for research on Southern Hemisphere blue whales and financial implications.
DECIDES that the research programme for large baleen whales in the Southern Oceans should be afforded high priority in the Scientific Committee's activities next year.
DECIDES further to examine mechanisms to finance the implementation of this research programme.