The North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission
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Committee on Hunting Methods

Committee on Hunting Methods 2012

The Committee provides advice on hunting methods  for the marine mammals relevant to NAMMCO member countries. The Committee shall ensure that the advice given is based  on the best available scientific findings, technological developments and traditional knowledge, with due consideration given to safety requirements and efficiency of utilisation. The Rules of Procedure govern the Committee's functions.
The Committee has organised much of its work through the convening of international  workshops; Nuuk in 1999Sandefjord in 2001, Copenhagen in 2004, and Copenhagen in November 2006. Furthermore the Committee has convened Expert Group meetings; one on Best Practices in Sealing in February 2009 , one on Assessment of Whale Killing Data in February 2010, and the most recent  Assessing the Hunting Methods for Small Cetaceans in November 2011. 

All workshops and expert group meetings have generated both specific and general recommendations. 

In 2004 members of the Committee conducted shooting trials on heads of dead pilot whales to examin the effect of different rifle projectiles and and to develope guidelines to test the efficiency of rifle ammunition used for hunting and euthanasia of small whales. The result and the guidelines were presented to the Council in 2006.

The NAMMCO Expert Group on killing of large whales (February 2010) recommended the development of a user manual for hunting to ensure efficiency of the hunt, safety for the hunters and minimizing animal suffering. This recommendation was endorsed by the Committee on Hunting Methods and was presented to the NAMMCO Council in 2010.  In the fall 2012 external funding was secured from The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NORA and the work could fully commence. The target group is whalers, inspectors, observers and others engaged in whaling. The manufactures of weapons and whalers have been consulted during the process and have had an opportunity to comment on the work

The total manual including all translations consists of the following three parts:

Manual on maintenance and use of weaponry and equipement deployed in hunting of baleen whales in NAMMCO member countries:
English version
Norwegian version

• Icelandic version to be announced
• Greenlandic version to be announced

Manual on pilot whaling:
English version
Faroese version

Manual on small whale hunting in Greenland
English version
Greenlandic version

The currently (2015) elected Chair of the Committee is Nette Levermann (Greenland) and the vice-Chair is Guðni Magnus Eriksson (Iceland) .

Shooting trials