North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission

The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO) is an "international body for co-operation on conservation, management and study of marine mammals in the North Atlantic."

The body was founded in 1992 by its current members Norway, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. The organisation came about because the nations were (and continue to be) unhappy with the international management of cetaceans and other marine mammals by the International Whaling Commission. NAMMCO believes that whaling should be more extensive than that currently allowed under the IWC moratorium which prohibits all (large species) whaling with a few specific exceptions.

Nations opposed to whaling, such as the United Kingdom, do not recognise NAMMCO's claim to be the right body for management of whale stocks in the North Atlantic, and continue to support the IWC.

History and structure

NAMMCO was founded in Nuuk, Greenland on 9 April 1992 by the signatories to Agreement on Cooperation in Research, Conservation and Management of Marine Mammals in the North Atlantic. The Agreement came into force on 7 July 1992 and was itself the product of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Tromsø in 1990 between the Norwegian and Icelandic governments and the Greenland and Faroese home rule governments. The purpose of the organisation is set out in Article 2 of the agreement.

The commission has three parts. The council is the decision-making part of the commission, which requests, and acts on, advice from its management committees, which make proposals for management of marine mammals stocks within the region, and from the scientific committee which reviews current scientific literature and carries out its own scientific research.

The commission also hosts workshops and forums devoted to hunting methods and environmental questions.


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