Notification to the Parties
No. 2000/032 Geneva, 31 May 2000
Molecular genetic identification of whales, dolphins and porpoises
1. A scientific workshop on the forensic use of molecular techniques to identify wildlife products in the marketplace was held at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center of the Government of the United States of America, in La Jolla, California, from 14 to 16 June 1999.
2. The objectives of the workshop were to:
- review and summarize the results of forensic studies of cetacean products in Asian markets since the international moratorium on commercial hunting of certain species took effect in 1986;
- review the current scientific and technical methods for molecular identification of cetaceans, including consideration of progress made with other taxonomic groups;
- identify and evaluate new analytical approaches that could be of use in the molecular identification of cetaceans;
- identify and evaluate methods used to sample product markets; and
- review the status of reference collections and databases and consider ongoing needs to procure and gain access to genetic information.
3. The proceedings of the workshop (in English only) have been published and are available at the following Web site: http://swfsc.ucsd.edu/swfsc00.html. The document should be of assistance to Parties in dealing with forensic issues relating to cetaceans. Further information can be obtained from the Scientific Authority of the United States of America.
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