Whaling management

Whaling management

WhaleNorway has been hunting minke whales in the North-Eastern Atlantic since the 1920-ies. Today the population counts about 100 000 animals. The Norwegian Computing Center has been involved in the work for improving the management procedures for more than twenty years.

During the 1990-ies, the main focus was on developing a methodology and a program system for abundance estimation for the minke whale stock based on surveys covering the northern North Sea, the Norwegian Sea, the Greenland Sea and the Barents Sea.  After the analysis was completed and the estimates were approved by the International Whaling Commision, the program system used in the analysis was ported to the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, to be used in future abundance estimations.

An important task in more recent years has been to test out modifications of the present procedure for setting catch quotas. The whale population was simulated under various scenarios about the recruitment and other biological parameters. The quotas should not be higher than that the stock of whales is preserved even under rather pessimistic scenarios, for instance if the population size is considerable less than what we believe, or if is suddenly halved by sickness.


Aldrin, M., Huseby, R.B., and Schweder, T. (2008). A note on tuning the catch limit algorithm for commercial baleen whaling. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management, Vol. 10, p. 191-194. [pdf]

Aldrin, M., Holden, M. and Schweder, T. (2003): Comment on Cowling's "Spatial Methods for Line Transect Surveys". Biometrics, Vol. 59, pp. 186-188, 2003. [pdf]

Schweder, Tore; Skaug, Hans J.; Langaas, Mette and Dimakos, Xeni K. (1999): Simulated likelihood methods for complex double-platform line transect surveys. Biometrics Vol. 55, No. 3, p. 678-687. DOI: 10.1111/j.0006-341X.1999.00678.x

Schweder, Tore; Skaug, Hans; Dimakos, Xeni; Langaas, Mette; Øyen, Nils (1997): Abundance of Northeastern Minke Whales. Estimates for 1989 and 1998. Report of the International Whaling Commission, 47, pp. 453-484.



The Research Council of Norway

The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal affairs

The Institute of Marine Research

International Whaling Commission