Resolution 2001-7

Decisions Document Number
Long Title
Resolution on Southern Hemisphere Minke Whales and Special Permit Whaling

Resolution 2001-7
Resolution on Southern Hemisphere Minke Whales and Special Permit Whaling
RECOGNISING that the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary may provide a valuable precautionary measure against
uncertainties in whale management in the Antarctic;

NOTING that the IDCR/SOWER cruises have been a major investment of the budget and time of the commission
and the scientific committee for many years;

FURTHER NOTING that refinement of the experimental design for these cruises has been a continuous process
throughout the past two decades;

RECALLING concerns expressed in Resolution 2000-4, regarding appreciably lower abundance estimates for
Southern Hemisphere minke whales;

FURTHER RECALLING that IWC Scientific Committee agreed in 2000 that there was no agreed estimate for
Southern Hemisphere minke whales;

NOTING that this year’s Scientific Committee report provided a crude estimate of abundance for Southern
Hemisphere minke whales which, although derived from an incomplete data set for the third circumpolar cruise,
nevertheless suggests a substantially lower abundance estimate for Southern Hemisphere minke whales;

CONCERNED that the Scientific Committee report cannot rule out that the Southern Hemisphere minke whale
population may have suffered a precipitous decline over the past decade;

COMMENDS the Scientific Committee’s proposal to proceed with the completion of its review of minke whale
abundance in the Southern Hemisphere;

ENDORSES the Scientific Committee’s proposal to present at its 2003 meeting revised estimates of abundance and
trends of Southern Hemisphere minke whales, using improved methodology developed during the course of the
review, for the full three circumpolar sets of IDCR/SOWER surveys;

REQUESTS the Scientific Committee to provide to the Commission at IWC 54:
(i) a list of plausible hypotheses that may explain this apparent population decline,
(ii) the possible implications that such a decline in abundance may have for the management of minke
whales in the Southern Hemisphere, and for ecologically-related species, in particular other
cetaceans, and the state of the Antarctic marine ecosystem;

STRONGLY URGES the Government of Japan to halt the lethal takes of minke whales conducted under the JARPA
programme, at least until the Scientific Committee has reported to the Commission on the impacts of the JARPA
programme on the stocks of minke whales in Areas IV and V.