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Scientific contribution


December 2017, Scientific contribution from JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A (pdf file)

The Japanese Whale Research Program under Special Permit in the Antarctic (JARPA) was conducted between the austral summer seasons of 1987/88 and 2004/05. The JARPA had four main objectives: a) estimation of biological parameters to improve the stock management of the Southern Hemisphere minke whale; b) elucidate the role of whales in the Antarctic marine ecosystem; c) elucidation of the effect of environmental change on cetaceans; and d) elucidation of the stock structure of Southern Hemisphere minke whales to improve stock management.

The International Whaling Commission Scientific Committee (IWC SC) carried out two review workshops on JARPA, the first in 1997 (mid-term review) and the second on December 2006 (final review). Reports of these workshops can be found in the following web site:

https://www.icrwhale.org/pdf/SC49.pdf (mid-term review)

https://www.icrwhale.org/pdf/SC59Rep1.pdf (final review)

JARPAII started with two feasibility surveys in the seasons 2005/06 and 2006/07. The first full survey started in the 2007/08 season. The objectives of the JARPAII are the following: a) monitoring the Antarctic ecosystem (whale abundance trends and biological parameters; krill abundance and the feeding ecology of whales; effects of contaminants on cetaceans; cetacean habitat); b) modeling competition among whale species and future management objectives (constructing a model of competition among whale species; new management objectives including the restoration of the cetacean ecosystem); c) elucidation of temporal and spatial changes in stock structure; and d) improving the management procedure for Antarctic minke whale stocks.

The IWC SC carried out a review of data and results of JARPAII for the first six years (2005/06-2010/11) in February 2014 (which turned out to be the final review of JARPAII). The report of the review workshop can be found in the following web site:


Since the austral summer season 2015/16 Japan started a 12-year long research program called New Scientific Whale Research Program in the Antarctic Ocean (NEWREP-A), which has two main objectives: a) improvement in the precision of biological and ecological information for the application of the RMP to the Antarctic minke whales, and b) investigation of the structure and dynamics of the Antarctic marine ecosystem through building ecosystem models.

A mid-term review of NEWREP-A will be carried out after the first six years of surveys are completed.

Scientific contribution of JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A

Scientific contribution of JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A has been made in different forms, as scientific documents for the IWC SC meetings and other scientific meetings of intergovernmental organizations, as publications in peer reviewed journals, and as oral presentations at scientific symposiums.

The list of the IWC SC and other meetings documents, and peer-reviewed papers derived from JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A up to 2017 is shown in the Appendix 1, by year.

University theses

JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A sample/data have been used also in University's pre-graduate, master and doctoral theses.

Other scientific contribution

JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A data/samples have been used also in chapters of books, quarterly bulletin Geiken Tsushin and Suisan Shigen Kanri Danwakaihou.

JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A biological material such as whale skeletons has been provided to municipal museums.

Data access and availability

All the data and samples obtained by JARPA/JARPAII/NEWREP-A are available to the national and international scientific community through established data access protocols. Appendix 2 shows the data access protocol of ICR, which can also be found at the IWC SC web page (https://iwc.int/data-availability).

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