The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission


Upcoming events:

NAMMCO SC Working Group on Coastal Seals (CSWG)

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 parties 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.


The annual meetings of the Commission - NAMMCO 24 - will be held from 9 - 11 February 2016 at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway. 

Management Committee meetings 9 February and Council meeting 10 -11 February. The agendas of the Management Committees meetings can be found here and the agenda of the Council meeting can be found here.


Press Release:

Managing Marine Mammals

NAMMCO  -  24th Annual Council in Oslo

- Climate change is happening twice as fast in the Arctic, compared to the South. That is why it is even more crucial to monitor the stocks closely. If we are going to ensure sustainability it is more important than ever that we sit down together and talk, says Dr. Genevieve Desportes, General Secretary of NAMMCO.

The stocks of seals and whales are experiencing different challenges. Some stocks are prospering, while some stocks are threatened. To ensure the continued conservation it is crucial that the stocks are managed sustainably through an ecosystem-based approach that recognizes the full array of interactions within an ecosystem.

NAMMCO, the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission is holding its Annual Council Meeting in Oslo to ensure an international discussion on the most recent developments. NAMMCO is the only international, regional body managing not just whales but also seal stocks.

NAMMCO advises its parties, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway, on the conservation status as well as on the improvement of animal welfare, including hunting methods.

At its 24th meeting, the NAMMCO Council will hear Dr Nicola Beaumont, from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, UK, present her view on “Why do marine mammals need ecosystem-based management? And what have they ever done for us? An exploration of the ecosystem service approach to support the NAMMCO framework”. This presentation is open to the public.


For further information, please contact

Ásta Einarsdóttir, Chair of the Council, +354 862 9750,

Geneviève Desportes, General Secretary, +47 950 21 228,


Supplementary Information

The 24th Council meeting of NAMMCO is happening from February 10-11, 2016, at the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway.  The agenda of the Council and Management Committee Meetings can be found at The opening session of the Council Meeting (10:00 to 11:45, approximately, including the talk of the invited speaker) is open to the public.

The Governments of Canada, Denmark, Japan and the Russian Federation will also be represented at the meeting, as well as other international governmental organizations within the fields of fisheries (Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Organization, NAFO; North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, NEAFC; South East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, SEAFO) and whaling (International Whaling Commission, IWC; IWMC World Conservation Trust).

More information on NAMMCO and its activities can be found at the website