[MARMAM] New paper on distribution and movements of sperm whales in the North Pacific

Sally Mizroch - NOAA Federal sally.mizroch at noaa.gov
Mon Jul 1 11:47:19 PDT 2013

Hello everyone,

Dale Rice and I are pleased to announce the publication of our paper on
distribution and movements of sperm whales in the North Pacific.

Mizroch, S. A. and  Rice, D. W. 2013.  Ocean nomads: Distribution and
movements of sperm whales in the North Pacific shown by whaling data and
Discovery marks.   Marine Mammal Science 29 (2):E136-E165.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2012.00601.x

Members of the Society for Marine Mammalogy can download a pdf copy of
the paper
from the Marine Mammal Science website:

or you may contact me directly at sally.mizroch at noaa.gov.


We investigated the distribution and movements of sperm whales (*Physeter
macrocephalus*) in the North Pacific by analyzing whaling data and movement
data of whales marked with Discovery marks. Prior studies suggested that
there were discrete “stocks” of sperm whales, assuming that the intervals
between historical areas of concentration indicated subpopulation
boundaries. Our analyses clearly refute this assumption: whaling and
marking data suggest no obvious divisions between separate demes or stocks
within the North Pacific. Sperm whales appear to be nomadic and show
widespread movements between areas of concentration, with documented
movements of over 5,000 km, time spans between marking and recovery over
20 yr, and ranges that cover many thousand km2. Males appear to range more
widely than females. Sperm whales likely travel in response to geographical
and temporal variations in the abundance of medium- and large-sized pelagic
squids, their primary prey. Our analyses demonstrate that males and females
concentrated seasonally in the Subtropical Frontal Zone (*ca*. 28ºN–34ºN)
and the Subarctic Frontal Zone (*ca*. 40ºN–43ºN), and males also
concentrated seasonally near the Aleutian Islands and along the Bering Sea
shelf edge. It appears that the sperm whales targeted by the pelagic
whalers range widely across this ocean basin.

Best regards,
Sally A. Mizroch

Alaska Fisheries Science Center

National Marine Mammal Laboratory

7600 Sand Point Way NE, Bldg 4

Seattle, WA  98115, USA

voice: (206) 526-4030

fax: (206) 526-6615
e-mail: Sally.Mizroch at noaa.gov

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not
necessarilyreflect any position of NOAA.
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