IWC Science Committee Discusses Seismic

The International Whaling Commission’s Science Committee has issued a report on its 2013 meeting.  This report includes the following statements and recommendations about seismic:

 “The ASC also developed a statement of concern over the ongoing seismic survey work in the area of the Hellenic Trench. In particular, it requested all involved in the planned surveys to provide information to the ASC and take urgent precautionary action to protect the local cetaceans. The ASC offered to provide advice and drew attention to the ACCOBAMS guidelines for seismic surveys, and urged that: duplicate surveys should be avoided across the same area; alternative approaches to seismic airgun survey should be sought and deployed; and efforts should be made to avoid ensonifying adjacent areas simultaneously.”


 “It was noted that there is little information on the predicted response of marine mammals to changing Arctic conditions including changes in sea ice, climate and prey species as well as increased human development activity as seismic, shipping, and drilling. The NAMMCO-SC recommended holding an international symposium on the effect of seismic and other development activities on Arctic marine mammals with a focus on white whales and narwhals.”


“The Committee reiterates its support for the important work of the IUCN. As previously, the Committee recommends that oil and gas development activities (including exploratory seismic surveys) in areas used by gray whales be undertaken only after careful planning for mitigation and monitoring, noting the guidance provided by the WGWAP in this regard.”

Click here to read the IWC Science Committee’s report.






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