Southern Ocean Research Partnership

Remora approaching a blue whale; © Kylie Owen

The Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP) is an integrated, collaborative consortium for non-lethal whale research, which aims to maximise conservation outcomes for Southern Ocean whales through an understanding of the post-exploitation status, health, dynamics and environmental linkages of their populations, and the threats they face. The partnership maintains an integrated and responsive relationship with the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and its priorities. IWC-SORP was endorsed by the Scientific Committee of the IWC at its Annual Meeting in June 2009.

Scientists participating in IWC-SORP are developing and applying novel, powerful, non-lethal research methods including acoustic techniques, tagging devices, photography and satellite tracking methods, tissue sampling and sophisticated genetic techniques, as well as important ecological theory and analyses.

Current Partnership members include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa and the United States. IWC-SORP warmly welcomes new partners to formally commit to participation in this exciting initiative.

Call for Proposals

Thanks to voluntary contributions from Australia and the Netherlands, the IWC-SORP is able to issue a new Call for Proposals, with a total of up to £500,000 (GBP) available for award. The deadline for applications [Word] is midnight UCT, 8 January 2018.

More information can be found in the guidelines [PDF] associated with this Call for Proposals.

Data, protocol and resource sharing

The IWC-SORP ethos is one of open collaboration, communication and data sharing, so much of our work is publicly available. Visit the protocols, data sharing and resources page to download documents, forms, posters and flyers.

Media inquiries

All media inquiries should be directed to the Australian Antarctic Division media team on +61 3 6232 3253 or

General inquiries

General inquiries should be directed to

This page was last modified on January 8, 2018.