State of the Cetacean Environment Report

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The State of the Cetacean Environment Report (SOCER) is an annual report produced by the International Whaling Commission to provide environmental updates on the status of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their habitats.

The SOCER was first requested by the IWC in 1997, and has been produced annually since 2003. The report is compiled by three editors who are members of the IWC Scientific Committee. The editors select the topics covered in the report, which reflect the current and emerging issues affecting cetaceans and their environment. The report provides a non-technical summary of the most recent published research, legislation and other relevant developments in the field of cetacean conservation.

The SOCER has two components: a specific regional focus and a more general global update. The regional focus rotates on a 5-year cycle, covering the following regions:

  • Mediterranean and Black Seas
  • North and South Atlantic
  • North and South Pacific
  • Arctic and Antarctic (Polar)
  • Indian Ocean

The regional focus provides a detailed overview of the cetacean species, populations, threats and conservation measures in each region. The global update covers only the most recent and significant worldwide developments in the 12-month period since the previous SOCER. The global update includes regular sections on habitat degradation, chemical pollution, disease, noise impacts and mortality events. It also highlights positive developments, such as new marine protected areas or marine debris collection schemes.

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