Navigation Links
New study finds most North Pacific humpback whale populations rebounding

The number of humpback whales in the North Pacific Ocean has increased since international and federal protections were enacted in the 1960s and 70s, according to a new study funded primarily by NOAA and conducted by more than 400 whale researchers throughout the Pacific region.

However, some isolated populations of humpbacks, especially those in the Western Pacific Ocean, have not recovered at the same rate and still suffer low numbers.

The new research reveals that the overall population of humpbacks has rebounded to approximately 18,000 to 20,000 animals. The population of humpback whales in the North Pacific, at least half of whom migrate between Alaska and Hawaii, numbered less than 1,500 in 1966 when international whaling for this species was banned. In the 1970s, federal laws including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act provided additional protection.

NOAA is proud to have played a key role in initiating and funding this study, said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. It is only through this type of international cooperation that we can gauge our success and measure what additional work needs to be accomplished to protect highly migratory marine mammals.

The results of this new report come from SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks), an international effort involving more than 50 organizations. Launched in 2004, the project determined whale migratory patterns and estimated population sizes by using a library of 18,000 photographs of whale flukes to identify 8,000 individual whales.

Cascadia Research in Olympia, Wash., the central coordinator for the SPLASH project, matched photographs from six different feeding and breeding areas. By matching whale flukes photographed in their feeding areas with those photographed in the wintering areas, researchers were able to determine the patterns of individual whale movements, as well as estimate the sizes of different populations.

In addition to whale fluke photographs, SPLASH researchers collected more than 6,000 biopsy samples for studies of genetics and pollutants, along with thousands of additional photographs to determine how levels of scarring from line entanglement and ship strikes vary among regions. The samples, which are yet to be analyzed, will provide valuable insights into the complex population structure and current threats to further recovery.


Contact: Jim Milbury
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service

Related biology news :

1. Baker Institute study, conference weigh risks for global energy markets
2. Baker Institute study finds continuing upward pressure on retail gasoline prices
3. Jefferson receives $11.6M NIH grant to study novel mechanisms of heart failure
4. Study identifies trends of vitamin B6 status in US population sample
5. Study results: new recommendations for grape growers
6. Study in Science cites impact of anthropogenic nitrogen on ocean biology, atmospheric CO2
7. New study links fate of personal care products to environmental pollution and human health concerns
8. Breaking news: Study revives Olympic prospects for amputee sprinter
9. New study casts further doubt on risk of death from higher salt intake
10. Crystal (eye) ball: Study says visual system equipped with future seeing powers
11. Warming climate is changing life on global scale, says new study
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New study finds most North Pacific humpback whale populations rebounding
(Date:10/27/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 ... the major issues of concern for various industry verticals ... This is due to the growing demand for secure ... practices in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank ... concerns for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... Oct. 27, 2015 Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... that Google has adopted the Synaptics ® ClearPad ... to power its newest flagship smartphones, the Nexus 5X ... --> --> Synaptics ... provide strategic collaboration in the joint development of next ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... Calif. and LAS VEGAS ... Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in modern authentication ... , today announced the launch of its latest version ... unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that ... Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf ... the 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section ... her work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... VANCOUVER , Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW/ - iCo ... ICOTF), today reported financial results for the quarter ... are expressed in Canadian dollars and presented under ... the United States ," said Andrew ... "These advancements regarding iCo-008 are not only value ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ: ... on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, confirms that ... are no corporate developments that would cause the recent ... --> --> About Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... --> Aeterna Zentaris is a specialty biopharmaceutical ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global software solutions leader SAP ... states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve health and wellness in ... for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, an all-expenses paid trip ...
Breaking Biology Technology: