Saving the whale, nearly done

The humpback whale populations in Australian waters are growing, according the new Marine Policy paper “Embracing conservation success of recovering humpback whale populations”

“monitoring data suggest rapid recovery for both east and west coast populations, which are now larger than 50% of their pre-whaling abundance. The measured growth rates exceed known species trends worldwide and have no indication of diminishing…”

The new paper, though focussed on Australia, also has a premable that surveys good data from other nations. Canada reports…

“an annual rate of increase of 4.9 – 6.8% with no signs of declining”

Although good North Pacific figures appear to be lacking, in U.S. waters…

“the [U.S.] estimate exceeds pre-exploitation population values of 15,000 humpback whales throughout the North Pacific”

Worldwide…

“Based on distribution, ecological situation, genetics, and other factors, 15 humpback whale distinct population segments worldwide were identified, among which nine were determined to not be at risk of extinction with high certainty”

Those still under threat are small and isolated populations, mostly near developing countries / micro-nations…

“discrete and smaller sub-populations of humpback whales from the Arabian Sea, western North Pacific, west coast of Africa, and South Pacific subpopulations in portions of Oceania”.

humpnycPicture: Humpback Whales are returning to the waters off New York City, 2014.

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