Resolution 2014-1

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Aboriginal Subsistance Whaling (AWS)

Resolution on Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (AWS)


WHEREAS Resolution 1982-3 states that it is the purpose of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to provide for the effective conservation and management of whale stocks;

WHEREAS the Commission recognises the importance of accommodating the needs of aboriginal people who are dependent upon whales for subsistence and cultural purposes and that the Commission intends that the needs of aboriginals shall be determined by the Governments concerned and explained in needs statements that are submitted to the Commission.

WHEREAS Aboriginal Subsistence Whaling (ASW) management is a fundamental and integral part of the duties to be performed by the IWC;

WHEREAS Resolution 1994-4 states that for aboriginal subsistence whaling the IWC objectives are to:

  1. ensure that the risks of extinction to individual stocks are not seriously increased by subsistence whaling;
  2. enable aboriginal people to harvest whales in perpetuity at levels appropriate to their cultural and nutritional requirements, subject to the other objectives; and
  3. maintain the status of stocks at or above the level giving the highest net recruitment and to ensure that stocks below that level are moved towards it, so far as the environment permits;

WHEREAS Resolution 1994-4 also states that highest priority shall be accorded to the objective of ensuring that the risk of extinction to individual stocks are not seriously increased by subsistence whaling;

WHEREAS the Scientific Committee in its 2009 report endorsed an interim safe approach to setting catch limits for the Greenlandic hunt in 2008 and agreed that this should be considered valid for two blocks, i.e. up to, and including, the 2018 whaling season;

WHEREAS the Commission and the Scientific Committee have agreed that long-term scientific advice on ASW management should follow the Strike Limit Algorithm (SLA) approach;

WELCOMING the relevant work carried out by the Scientific Committee, especially the considerable progress in developing SLAs and providing management advice for the Greenlandic hunt;

NOTING WITH SATISFACTION the completion of the SLA for humpback whales off West Greenland which provides a more robust basis for providing long-term management advice to the Commission on the subsistence hunt of humpback whales off West Greenland;

WELCOMING ALSO the work of the Scientific Committee towards considering a multi-species SLA;

WELCOMING FURTHER the additional work undertaken on conversion factors within Greenland, including improved procedures for data collection and updating the new information obtained (SC/65b/AWMP05) in line with the recommendations of the Scientific Committee in 2013 and NOTING that the Scientific Committee has agreed that annual update reports are unnecessary for its work, but has suggested that data are submitted directly to the Commission when it meets and incorporated as necessary into need statements;


  1. EMPHASISES the need to regulate ASW in the future through a more consistent and long-term approach;
  2. URGES all contracting governments to participate more actively in the work of the ASW Sub­ committee;
  3. REQUESTS the Scientific Committee to give high priority to all AWMP-related activities, including modelling and data collection and to complete, and, to the extent possible, accelerate its work on the development of agreed and validated SLAs for the Greenland hunt, at least by species, before 2018 in

accordance with its current work plan as well as consider the integration of these SLAs so as to provide multispecies advice for the next quota period;

  1. FURTHER REQUESTS the ASW Sub-committee to address as a matter of urgency the following issues for the period 2014-2018:

Standardised need statements, building on the work already carried out in the ASW sub­ committee and by the Ad Hoc ASW Working Group;

    1. Better understanding of the relationship between needs and consumption patterns for ASW hunts, including by collecting data on landings for each category, local consumption and use and the extent of monetary transactions;
    2. preparation of a proposal to update paragraph 13a of the Schedule to the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling to reflect the SLA approach for consideration bylWC66.
  1. THANKS the Kingdom of Denmark for providing the updated 2014 needs statement for Greenland;
  2. INVITES the ASW countries to continue to provide regular data and improve information on all aspects of their hunts and needs.