NEWREP-A sample size calculations need to be completed
W. K. de la Mare, J. P. McKinlay
International Whaling Commission
The Scientific Committee, through the Expert Panel review of NEWREP-A and at subsequent Scientific Committee
meetings, has recommended to Japan (“the proponents”) that they provide more statistically rigorous sample size
calculations in support of the current take of animals under the NEWREP-A Special Permit program. During 2015 and 2016, the proponents examined several aspects of Recommendation 26 of the Expert Panel relating to developing realistic models to estimate sample sizes. In reviewing this work, the Scientific Committee has assessed that so far only three of six aspects of the Experts Panel recommendations have been adequately addressed in relation to sample sizes. In 2017, the proponents presented no new work in relation to sample sizes, instead stating that, in their estimation, the original recommendations of the Expert Panel were complete. Australian scientists previously applied to access the requisite data from the proponents in order to undertake the required sample size calculations, but have been refused access to the data for this purpose. Until such time as the proponents fully implement the Expert Panel recommendations for calculating sample sizes it remains that the proponents have not demonstrated that they are able to realise their stated objectives in relation to the NEWREP-A program. The proponent’s position is that any further work on sample sizes should be afforded a low priority. However, it is untenable that NEWREP-A continues without appropriate sample size having been correctly calculated, and these calculations should be completed as a matter of urgency.