Institute of Cetacean Research

The Institute of Cetacean Research (I.C.R.), a unique organization in Japan specializing in the biological and social sciences related to whales, came into being in October 1987. It is a nonprofit research organization whose legal status is authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Government of Japan, as a foundational judicial person. The forerunner of the I.C.R., the Whales Research Institute, founded in 1947, was developed from the Nakabe Foundation for Whale Science, which was established in 1941.1. Research on Southern Hemisphere minke whales for the estimation of biological parameters necessary for population management and for elucidation of the Antarctic marine ecosystem under the special permit issued by the Government of Japan. 2. Research on Northwest Pacific minke, Bryde’s, sperm and sei whales under special permit issued by the Government of Japan to examine consumption of fish by cetaceans and competition between whales and fisheries and to provide data for ecosystem models to improve management of all living marine resources in the area. 3. Research to elucidate stock structure, examine the effects of environmental contaminants and sighting surveys for estimation of the cetacean populations in the North Pacific. 4. Sighting surveys on Southern Hemisphere minke whales in conjunction with the IWC/IDCR Southern Hemisphere whale population assessment program. 5. Biological research on small cetaceans in Japanese coastal waters. 6. Social and scientific studies on utilization of whales and other wildlife species. 7. Other activities:

a) Development of technology and methodology to obtain further information on cetaceans in the fields of taxonomy, ecology, and biology

b) Research on the environment and ecosystems in the Antarctic and the North Pacific

c) Analyses of data and materials collected from field surveys