The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


Upcoming events:

NAMMCO/JCNB Joint Scientific Working Group Meeting

Welcome to the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission - NAMMCO


NAMMCO is an international regional body for cooperation on the conservation, management and study of marine mammals in the North Atlantic.

The members of NAMMCO — Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway — are committed to sustainable and responsible use of all living marine resources, including marine mammals.

The regional cooperation under NAMMCO aims at strengthening and further developing effective conservation and management measures for marine mammals. Taking into account the rights and needs of coastal communities to make a sustainable living from what the sea can provide, such measures should be based on the best available scientific evidence and user knowledge and take into account the complexity and vulnerability of the marine ecosystem.

The NAMMCO Agreement focuses on consolidating and advancing scientific knowledge of the North Atlantic marine ecosystem as a whole, and to understanding better the role of marine mammals in this system.

Kjartan Hoydal

NAMMCO is sad to announce the passing away of one of the “fathers” of the organization, Kjartan Hoydal. He died peacefully yesterday morning at the age of 74 after a period of serious illness, surrounded by his closest family.

Kjartan was the first chair of the Council of NAMMCO, from 1992 to 1995. He also chaired its Management Committee from 1993-1994. NAMMCO is grateful for his inspiring and dedicated contribution.

Everyone who knew him was impressed with his strong character and personality, his direct, open and simple style, his sense of humour, his wide range of interests and not the least his dedication to the causes he embraced – professional or otherwise. He was certainly a person who imprinted the heart and mind of the people meeting him.

Our thoughts are with his family. R.I.P.

Kjartan Hoydal

NAMMCO to observe Norwegian minke whaling in 2016

Today the first of the NAMMCO appointed observers for the 2016 season boarded a Norwegian whaling vessel. The observer will oversee the hunting activities during 4 weeks and report back to NAMMCO under the Joint NAMMCO Control Scheme for the hunting of marine mammals. 

NAMMCO sends out observers to monitor whaling and sealing activities in member countries every year. An observer cannot be an observer in his/her home country. The Secretariat is responsible for the implementation of the Observer Scheme. For more information see here



NAMMCO Annual Report 2015 is out!

Reports of all major meetings of the Commission in 2015 including NAMMCO 24 held 9 - 11 February 2016 is available in the Annual Report 2015. 

Cetacean distributions over the years

Photo credit: MRI (Iceland) A new project using data from the North Atlantic Sightings Surveys (NASS) and Norwegian surveys is now underway. The project will be conducted by Nadya C. Ramirez-Martinez and Philip S. Hammond of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews. 

The main goal of this project is to improve understanding of the environmental factors that influence the distribution and habitat use of a range of cetacean species in the central and northeast Atlantic over a period of three decades by modelling their relative abundance as a function of a series of static and dynamic variables.

Read more!