The critically endangered Western Gray Whale (WGW) is known to feed in close proximity of the Sakhalin II oil and gas project, off the north east coast of Sakhalin Island . In 2004 a panel of independent whale scientists (Independent Scientific Review Panel, ISRP) was convened, under the auspices of the IUCN, and reported on Sakhalin Energy’s protection plans for the WGW. Their report, delivered in February 2005, identified a number of uncertainties and the need for further work. Since publication of the report Sakhalin Energy Investment Company ( SEIC ) has continued to undertake further research studies and revise its mitigation plans. In May 2005 a follow-up workshop was organised by IUCN in Gland, Switzerland, at which SEIC ’s response to the ISRP report and the company’s revised protection measures were reviewed. Certain questions remained after this Gland follow-up workshop, and in order to address those questions and the adequacy of SEIC 's mitigation planning, the whale scientists were convened by the potential Lenders from 17-19 September 2005 in Vancouver. The scientists participated in the meeting in their independent capacities, and not as part of a panel, as the ISRP was disbanded upon publication of the report in February 2005
NOTE : IUCN did not convene this workshop.