The NAMMCO agreement was signed on 9 April 1992 in Nuuk( Greenland) by Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands and came into force 90 days later on 8 July 1992. The agreement focuses on modern approaches to the exploration of the marine ecosystem as a whole and a better understanding of the role of marine mammals in this system. NAMMCO`s area of expertise is the North Atlantic, with no borders or other descriptions defined by the agreement. NAMMCO was established on April 9, 1992 in Nuuk, Greenland, by the signatories of the Marine Mammal Research, Conservation and Management Cooperation Agreement in the North Atlantic. The agreement came into force on 7 July 1992 and is itself the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in Tromsé in 1990 between the Norwegian and Icelandic governments as well as the Greenlandic and Fairy governments. The organization`s objective is defined in Article 2 of the agreement. It provides a mechanism for cooperation in the conservation and management of all species of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and pinnipeds (seal and walruses) in the region, many of which have not previously been covered by such an international agreement. [Polar bears are not treated by NAMMCO because they have been/will be managed under other international agreements]. The agreement is based on a common concern for the rational management, conservation and optimal exploitation of marine biological resources. It focuses on modern approaches to the exploration of the marine ecosystem as a whole and a better understanding of the role of marine mammals in this system. The Commission consists of three parts. The Council is the decision-making component of the Commission, which seeks and uses advice from its management committees that formulate proposals for the management of marine mammal stocks in the region and from the scientific committee that reviews current scientific literature and conducts its own scientific research. The NAMMCO agreement was signed on 9 April 1992 in Nuuk (Groenland) by the current members of the Commission – the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and Norway.
It came into force 90 days later, on July 8, 1992. NAMMCO is the appropriate international organization for cooperation in the conservation and management of small cetaceans in the North Atlantic, such as grey whales used for food in the Faroe Islands. The nAMMCO Scientific Committee advises Member States on whale and seal stocks and catch sustainability and has been coordinating regular and comprehensive North Atlantic observations of whales known as NASS since 1995. These surveys provide an important scientific basis for estimating the abundance of different cettacage stocks in the region. Cooperation under NAMMCO also includes a programme to observe national legislation on whaling and waterproofing in Member States, as well as active technical cooperation between whaling and waterproofing experts and veterinarians to exchange best practices in human killing methods.