Subject: Link: Whales in Icelandic waters

Michael Williamson (williams)
Mon, 26 Jan 1996 14:21:17

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From: Michael Williamson <>
Subject: Link: Whales in Icelandic waters
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>               Whale stock estimates in Icelandic waters
>          Source: The Marine Research Institute (in Iceland)
> Whaling for the large whales was practiced intermittently from
> shore-based stations in Iceland for over a century. From 1948 the
> whaling operations have been limited to one station in Hvalfjordur.
> During the period 1948-1985, the average catch was 234 fin whales,
> 68 sei whales and in the period 1948-1982, 82 sperm whales. In 1986
> the implementation of the International Whaling Commission's
> resolution on temporary pause in commercial whaling took effect. In
> accordance with the Whaling Convention, a scientific whaling of a
> limited number of fin and sei whales took place in 1986-1989. In the
> period 1990-1994, no whaling took place in Iceland.
> According to fin whale counts there are 8.900 fin whales in the area
> between Iceland and East-Greenland and about 15.600 in the area
> East-Greenland/Iceland/Jan Mayen north of 50N. This shows that the
> stock is in a good condition and can at least sustain a catch of
> 100-200 animals annually. A precautionary TAC of 100 fin whales is
> recommended until new information on stock sizes and new catch rules
> are available.
> Sighting surveys indicate that the sei whale stock in Icelandic and
> adjacent waters is around 10.500 animals. Lately only Iceland has
> harvested this stock and it seems clear that this has had no adverse
> effects on the stock.
> Minke whaling has been conducted at Iceland on small motor boats
> during most of this century. In 1977-1985 the annual minke whale
> catch was about 200 animals. Because of a ban on commercial whaling
> no catch has been taken since 1985.
> According to sightings surveys there are about 28.000 minke whales
> in the Central North Atlantic region, about half of which were in
> Icelandic coastal waters. Assessment shows that the minke whale
> fishery in the last decades has had no detectable effect on the
> stock. The condition of the stock is considered in healthy status
> and an annual catch of 200 minke whales in the next 5 years would
> have very little effect, if any, on the stock, even so that a
> cautious estimate predicts the stock size to level at 70-80% of its
> size in 1940.
> Calculations based on similar catch regulation models for whaling
> that have been developed in other fisheries give similar results.
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