[MARMAM] New paper on Soviet whaling
Phillip Clapham - NOAA Federal
phillip.clapham at noaa.gov
Tue Dec 3 04:45:39 PST 2013
The following has just been published:
Ivashchenko, Y.V., Brownell, R.L. Jr. and Clapham, P.J. 2013. Soviet
whaling in the North Pacific: revised catch totals. *Journal of Cetacean
Research and Management* 13: 59-71.
The USSR conducted a global campaign of illegal whaling beginning in 1948.
Catch records for Soviet pelagic operations in the Southern Hemisphere (and
the northern Indian Ocean) have been largely corrected, but major gaps have
remained for the North Pacific. Here, using newly discovered whaling
industry reports, corrected figures for Soviet catches in this ocean are
provided. During the period 1948–79, a minimum of 190,183 whales were
killed by the USSR in the North Pacific (195,783 if one includes an
estimate for sperm whales taken in years for which there are no true data);
of these, only 169,638 were reported to the IWC, a difference of 20,568
whales (26,168 including the sperm whale estimate). Figures were falsified
for 8 of 12 hunted species, with some catches over-reported to camouflage
takes of illegal species. Revised catch totals (caught vs. reported) are as
follows: blue whale – 1,621 vs. 858; fin whale – 14,167 vs. 15,445;
humpback whale – 7,334 vs. 4,680; sperm whale – 153,686 vs. 132,505; sei
whale – 7,698 vs. 11,363; North Pacific right whale – 681 vs. 11; bowhead
whale – 145 vs. 0; gray whale – 172 vs. 24. Bryde’s, minke, killer and
Baird’s beaked whale catches were reported correctly. Of all the hunted
species, sperm and North Pacific right whales were the most heavily
impacted. Major falsifications for sperm whales involved figures for both
total catch and sex ratio.
Reprints are available from the senior author: yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov
Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D.
Leader, Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115, USA
tel 206 526 4037
fax 206 526 6615
email phillip.clapham at noaa.gov
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