North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO)

NAMMCO is an international regional body established in 1992 for cooperation on the conservation, management and study of marine mammals (whales, seals and walruses) in the North Atlantic. The Faroe Islands is a founding member of NAMMCO and participates in its own name, together with the other member countries, Greenland, Iceland and Norway. The Governments of Canada, Denmark, Japan and the Russian Federation follow the work of NAMMCO as observers.

NAMMCO is the appropriate international organization for cooperation on the conservation and management of small whales in the North Atlantic, such as pilot whales, which are utilized for food in the Faroe Islands. The NAMMCO Scientific Committee provides advice to member countries regarding whale and seal stocks and sustainability of catches, and since 1995 it has coordinated regular and comprehensive North Atlantic Sightings Surveys for whales, known as NASS. These surveys provide an important scientific basis for estimating the abundance of different whale stocks in the region. Cooperation through NAMMCO also includes an Observation Scheme to provide international oversight of national whaling and sealing regulations in member countries, as well as an active technical collaboration between whaling and sealing experts and veterinarians to share best practices in humane killing methods.