[MARMAM] New Publication on Skin condition of Fin Whales in Antarctica

Herr, Dr. Helena helena.herr at uni-hamburg.de
Tue Aug 16 04:33:43 PDT 2022

Dear all,

my co-authors and I would like to share with you our recent paper

Herr H, Viquerat S, Naujocks T, Gregory B, Lees A, Devas F (2022) Skin condition of fin whales at Antarctic feeding grounds reveals little evidence for anthropogenic impacts and high prevalence of cookiecutter shark bite lesions

published as a note in Marine Mammal Science, 2022, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1111/mms.12966

We collected high-resolution video imagery of fin whales at an Antarctic feeding ground during a dedicated
abundance survey, using helicopter and drone supported cameras, and used the imagery for an assessment of the
skin condition. We analyzed individual fin whales, looking for conspicuous features, including injuries, abnormal coloration, scars, and parasites as indicators for exposure to natural and anthropogenic impacts. We hypothesized that
typical signs for environmental and anthropogenic impacts would be evident in the animals if they had been exposed
to these effects during some part of their life history. Such information would be critical with regard to management
and conservation of this recovering population, to identify and to mitigate pressures. Furthermore, it could
provide insights on migratory origins and habitat during the breeding season. We found little evidence for human impacts and a high prevalence of scars from cookiecutter sharks  (49.5% of all fin whales).
Our results provide indication that fin whales feeding at the Antarctic Peninsula likely migrate to an offshore habitat with comparably little human impact within the distributional range of cookiecutter sharks in sub-tropical to tropical waters.

The paper is open access and can be downloaded at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mms.12966

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Kind regards,


Dr. Helena Herr

Institute of Marine Ecosystem and Fishery Science (IMF)
Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN)
University of Hamburg
Große Elbstraße 133
22767 Hamburg, Germany

Tel +49 (0)40 42838 6677
Email helena.herr at uni-hamburg.de<mailto:helena.herr at uni-hamburg.de>


Alfred Wegener Institute
Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
Section Polar Biological Oceanography
AG Ecophysiology of Pelagic Key Species
Am Handelshafen 12 / Building E, Room 2390
27570 Bremerhaven, Germany

helena.herr at awi.de

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.uvic.ca/pipermail/marmam/attachments/20220816/820b98aa/attachment.html>

More information about the MARMAM mailing list