[MARMAM] New paper on sperm whales

Yulia Ivashchenko - NOAA Affiliate yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov
Tue Oct 21 11:26:58 PDT 2014

The following paper was just published:

Ivashchenko, Y.V., Brownell, R.L. Jr. & Clapham, P.J.  2014.  Distribution
of Soviet catches of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the North
Pacific.  Endangered Species Research 25: 249-263.

ABSTRACT: From 1948 to 1979, the USSR conducted extensive illegal whaling
worldwide.  Data from the North Pacific (NP) were analyzed to correct
falsified International Whaling Commission catch records, and to
investigate the distribution of sperm whales (NP catch = 157,680).
Information was available on the distribution of 123,264 sperm whale
catches.  Among a number of areas defined by the Soviet whalers the largest
catches were in the three main regions: 31,395 in the Eastern Region (ER),
29,518 in the Central Region (CR), 19,313 in the Western Region (WR); an
additional 23,090 catches were made at the Kuril land stations. Other areas
with substantial catches included the Aleutians (5,945) and Commander
Islands (1,448), Bering Sea (3,170), Olyutorsky Bay (3,094), and other
parts of the pelagic NP (6,049).  Four main areas of concentration
included: a large pelagic area (30-50°N) in the ER, including the Gulf of
Alaska and western coast of North America; the northeastern and
southwestern CR; and the southern Kurils.  Some of the distribution was
similar to 19th century catches, notably in the “Japan Ground” (in the
pelagic western Pacific) and the “Coast of Japan Ground”.  Many females
were caught in Olyutorsky Bay and around the Commander Islands.  There was
also a division in catch composition at Amchitka Pass (Aleutians), with
family groups to the west and mature males to the east.  The extensive
illegal catches of females removed a significant portion of the
reproductively mature population, which likely continues to impact recovery
of NP sperm whales today.

This paper is Open Access and a pdf can be downloaded for free at:
(4th article down in the list).

Yulia V. Ivashchenko, Ph.D.
Associate Scientist
National Marine Mammal Laboratory
Alaska Fisheries Science Center
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115, USA
Tel: +1 206 526 4037
Email: *yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov <yulia.ivashchenko at noaa.gov>*
*http://www.moscowproject.org <http://www.moscowproject.org>*
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