International whales workshop coming to Sydney

12th March 2009

The Australian Government, in conjunction with the International Whaling Commission (IWC), are convening an international workshop in Sydney during 23-26 March to develop the Southern Ocean Research Partnership - the world's largest cooperative, non-lethal, whale research programme.

At a previous IWC meeting, Australia outlined a practical proposal to improve the coordinated and cooperative delivery of agreed, priority science, to the Scientific Committee and the Commission of the IWC. This paper proposed the development of regional non-lethal cetacean research partnerships to address key scientific needs in priority areas and employ the best available non-lethal research techniques. As a first step, Australia will lead the development of a model partnership in the Southern Ocean at a workshop in Sydney in March. The workshop will include scientists and officials from more than eighteen nations.

The aim of the workshop is to establish the partnership and agree on priority objectives and research design. The primary output from the workshop will be a 5 year research plan which will be presented to the IWC Scientific Committee for review at the annual meeting of the IWC later in the year.

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