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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have killed at least two fin whales, the first...
hvalur-8-whaling-vessel

Majority of Icelandic people think whaling harms their country’s reputation

A survey of Icelandic people has confirmed that the majority believe whaling damages Iceland's reputation. ...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Japan Begins Commercial Whaling Season

Sei whale © Christopher Swann Japanese whalers have left port to begin this year's annual...

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

University of Alaska Fairbanks Master's student, Dana Bloch, retrieves a CTD that is used to...

Belugas Of Cook Inlet Continue To Decline

The beluga population of Cook Inlet, Alaska – recently re-listed as endangered – has fallen to its lowest level in nearly 20 years. So say the estimates arrived at in the 2011 survey of these remarkable ‘white whales’, planned and organised by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The survey in June last year found just 284 belugas compared to a count of 340 in 2010. The first NOAA survey in 1993 counted 653.

Federal biologists are advising caution over the latest figures as the number of beluga deaths reported during 2011 was much lower than normal. It may be that differing survey conditions and the whales spending more time underwater feeding during June skewed the figures.

The belugas’ decline has been blamed on various factors. Subsistence hunting by native populations led to a ban on hunting belugas in 1999. However the whales’ population has not recovered as expected since then, casting suspicion on pollution in Anchorage’s waste water.

More on belugas here.