However, NAMMCO has not undermined the IWC, (14) and the two organizations have coexisted for fifteen years as the IWC has continued to operate as the primary international body for large whale management.
Despite the fact that NAMMCO has not become an alternative to the IWC, NAMMCO can still provide lessons on how the IWC could operate.
NAMMCO has progressed from a potential rival to a thriving management organization.
Up until this point, scholars have used NAMMCO as a symbol of the imminent downfall of the IWC.
(80) In 1992, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands officially signed the Agreement on the Cooperation in Research, Conservation, and Management of Marine Mammals in the North Atlantic and created NAMMCO as the governing body of the Agreement.
A representative from Iceland stated that NAMMCO "was born out of dissatisfaction with the IWC's zero-catch quota, lack of IWC competence to deal with small cetaceans, and the need for an organization to deal with other marine mammals such as seals." (82) In order to better address marine mammal management, the agreement stated member nations would cooperate to ensure "the conservation and optimum utilization of the living resources of the sea" and to enhance "research on marine mammals and their role in the ecosystem." (83) NAMMCO was founded on the idea that regional instruments are much more effective at achieving cooperation, sustainable use, and considering the needs of coastal communities and indigenous people.
In part, NAMMCO was created out of frustration with the IWC.
At the same time, even though NAMMCO has not replaced the IWC, it has established itself as a legitimate international research and management organization for marine mammals in the North Atlantic.
NAMMCO is a body of like-minded members who support the hunting and consumption of marine mammals.