Hues of blues and vibrant greens reflect off the calm, clear waters of Lake Bled, a fairytale of a place located in the upper region of northwestern Slovenia. It is this quaint community of Bled, nestled in the foothills of the Julian Alps and famous for its cream cake, that set the stage for nearly 200 scientists from over 40 countries to present their recommendations for whale management policies at the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee meeting in May.
The lake is of glacial-tectonic origin and lies at the northwestern part of Slovenia, its crystal clear water is habitat to over 19 species of fish including Carp, Pike and Lake Trout.
The most famous delicacy at Lake Bled is a dessert – the Bled Cream Cake (“kremšnita”) made using an original recipe from over 60 years ago.
St. Martin’s Parish was built in 1905 n the site of the previous Gothic church dating from the 15th century.
The Bleeding Heart blooms in bright pink and red and is a symbol of true love, while the rarer white species symbolize purity and innocence.
The 2017 annual SC meeting of the IWC was held at Hotel Golf in Bled, Slovenia
The Scientific Committee (SC) is the body that advises the International Whaling Commission (IWC) on whale stock management and conservation measures. Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) Founder, Greg Kaufman is an Invited Participant to the SC and serves on several subcommittees including: Whalewatch, Southern Hemisphere whales, Small Cetaceans, Photo-ID and Non-deliberate Human Induced Mortality on Cetaceans. He also serves as the international whalewatch representative to the IWC’s Conservation Committee. Part of PWF’s presence at the IWC is to help ensure scientifically based management of the world’s whale populations.
Pacific Whale Foundation representatives, Barbara Galletti, Greg Kaufman and Cristina Castro.
Greg Kaufman presents his recomendations on Modelling and Assessment of Whalewatching Impacts.
Scientific Committee workshop assessment for Modelling and Assessment of Whalewatching Impacts.
PWF has been instrumental in providing a comprehensive assessment of the impacts and value of whalewatching. Greg is a team member for the IWC’s Modeling and Assessment of the Whalewatch Industry (MAWI) that will undertake a workshop in the next six months to define a long-term assessment on global whalewatch operations. Since 2010, Greg has also been involved in drafting an international Strategic Plan for Whalewatching. This plan is undergoing further review with an expected international roll-out in the next few years.
This was the setting for debates, recommendations and policy implementations at the IWC
Barbara Galletti, Javier Rodriguez (Representative of Costa Rica and expert in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Marine Biology) and PWF Founder Greg Kaufman.
The Vintgar gorge is an impressive landscape where turquoise waters carve its way through vertical rocks creating waterfalls, pools and rapids. This natural resource is classified among the more important tourist sights in Slovenia.
Charming traditional Slovenian Alpine house
Cristina Castro enjoys a ride on a Pletna
One of the most highly regarded papers was focused on photo-identification of Bryde’s whales in Latin America.
A dozen papers authored, co-authored, or using PWF data were presented to the SC this year. One of the most highly regarded papers was focused on photo-identification of Bryde’s whales in Latin America. This work, long thought to be near impossible to conduct, was co-led by PWF Ecuador researcher, Cristina Castro who collected and compiled the data. Barbara Galletti also presented research funded by PWF on Chilean blue whales, focusing on a small population found off the coast of Chiloe Island.