Navigation Links
New study suggests minke whales are not preventing recovery of larger whales
Date:1/14/2010

WASHINGTON Genetic analyses refute the hypothesis that an overly abundant population of minke whales is creating too much competition over food for populations of other whale species to rebound, according to a new study supported by the Lenfest Ocean Program and published this week in the journal Molecular Ecology. The study's findings indicate that the Southern Ocean minke whale population around Antarctica has not grown unnaturally large in the wake of industrial whaling, which decimated populations of other larger whales in the region.

Some whaling proponents in the international policy debate have argued that culling minke whales is a valid management solution for allowing populations of large whales to recover to their former levels. This study suggests that killing minke whales will not help the larger whale species to recover.

"We can ascertain that today's populations of minke whales are roughly similar in size to populations prior to early 20th century commercial whaling of larger species," said lead author Kristen Ruegg of Stanford University. "The research suggests that direct competition for food is not keeping the large whale populations from recovering."

Baleen whales feed on small animals, such as the crustacean krill, by filtering them through broom-like structures in their mouths called baleen. Some scientists had hypothesized that the Southern Ocean population of minke whales the smallest member of the baleen whale family had increased due to a lack of competition for food after industrial whalers killed more than two million large baleen whales, such as blue, humpback, sei and fin whales.

"Hopefully this study will help managers make more informed decisions about how best to manage whale populations in the Southern Ocean," said co-author Stephen Palumbi of Stanford University. "It has always been important to test hypotheses before using them in management."

The authors tested 52 samples of minke whale meat purchased at Japanese markets and isolated genetic markers that identify how much genetic diversity resides within the population. Researchers were then able to extrapolate how many individuals within the population most likely contributed to the gene pool.

The scientists offered several possibilities for why minke whales may not be in direct competition with other whale species in the Southern Ocean. One reason may be that minke whales are limited by factors other than food supply. Another possibility may be that minke whales do not feed on krill at the same time or in the same way as large whales and so do not directly compete with them.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jo Knight
jknight@pewtrusts.org
202-552-2070
Pew Environment Group
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. You say offset, I say tax? Study suggests labels and political affiliation may affect preferences
2. Study shows pine bark naturally relieves symptoms of acute hemorrhoids
3. Study shows that delivering stem cells improves repair of major bone injuries in rats
4. Study reveals how one form of natural vitamin E protects brain after stroke
5. What came first in the origin of life? A study contradicts the metabolism first hypothesis
6. Study examines calorie information from restaurants, packaged foods
7. Study provides insight into pathway linked to obesity
8. Sweet corn study provides large-scale picture of better fields
9. A global breakthrough in the study of a protein linked to the spread of viruses
10. Using modern sequencing techniques to study ancient modern humans
11. Short-term school closures may worsen flu pandemics, Pitt study finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/6/2017)... , April 6, 2017 Forecasts ... ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government ... Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, ... Other) Are you looking for a definitive ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)...  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis Corporation,s ... statistically significant association between the potency of ... objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. The ... cancer patients will respond to CAR-T cell ... to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and cell ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 ... Biometrics), Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video ... and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by ... in 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 ... 2017 and 2022. The base year considered for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... clinical trial sites and study participants truly unified. TrialKit, a native mobile app, ... CFR Part 11) research studies entirely on mobile devices. With TrialKit, clinical researchers ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... ... Blood centers traditionally see a dangerous drop of blood donations during the ... community blood centers as high schools are out and many frequent donors are on ... up with the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC), a subsidiary ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... ... solutions, today announced safety software company AB Cube has joined its ... segment to advance technology innovation across life sciences and healthcare. Under the ...
(Date:7/17/2017)... ... July 17, 2017 , ... DuPont Pioneer today announced ... website (openinnovation.pioneer.com) dedicated to connecting third-party innovators with DuPont Pioneer scientists is ... enabling technologies, biologicals and digital solutions. , “DuPont Pioneer is building on its ...
Breaking Biology Technology: