[MARMAM] New paper

Yulia Ivashchenko yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov
Wed Sep 12 11:37:00 PDT 2012


The following paper has just been published:

Ivashchenko, Y.V. & Clapham, P.J.  2012.  Soviet catches of bowhead (*Balaena
mysticetus*) and right whales (*Eubalaena japonica*) in the North Pacific
and Okhotsk Sea.  *Endangered Species Research *18: 201-217.

ABSTRACT: Both bowhead *Balaena mysticetus* and North Pacific (NP) right
whales *Eubalaena japonica* were reduced to low levels by historical
whaling. Despite their protected status, it is known that the USSR
illegally killed both species in the NP and Okhotsk Sea (OS). Here, we
provide revised Soviet catch totals, as well as other new information on
the distribution and other details of these catches. Right whale catches
were made from 1962 to 1968 in the eastern NP and in 1967 and 1968 in the
OS. Our best estimate of total right whale catches is 661, consisting of
529 for the eastern NP (compared to the previously published figure of 372)
and 152 for the OS (cf. a previous figure of 136). Catches were distributed
in the Bering Sea (BS, 115), eastern Aleutian Islands (28), Gulf of Alaska
(GOA, 366), OS (132), and other areas (20). Detailed information on catches
of 112 right whales taken in May/June 1963 shows a broad distribution in
offshore waters of the GOA, consistent with 19th century historical whaling
records. Other major areas in which right whales were caught include south
of Kodiak Island, western Bristol Bay (southeastern BS), and the central OS
off eastern Sakhalin Island. The best estimate of bowhead whale catches in
the OS in 1967 and 1968 is 145 animals, although this is contingent upon
certain assumptions regarding species identity. Of these, 79 were killed in
the Shantar Islands region and 66 in Shelikhov Bay. The catches of both
species primarily involved large mature animals, thus greatly inhibiting
recovery of the populations concerned.

A pdf reprint is available on request.


Yulia V. Ivashchenko
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
Seattle, WA 98115
USA

School of Environmental Science and Management
Southern Cross University
Lismore NSW 2480
Australia

Email: yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov
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