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David @ Tokyo

Perspective from Japan on whaling and whale meat, a spot of gourmet news, and monthly updates of whale meat stockpile statistics



12,000 humpies migrating off Western Australia

Googling for "booming humpbacks" turns up several results on increasing humpback numbers, particularly pertaining to the so-called "E" stock of Southern Hemisphere humpbacks, which is thought to mainly migrate up from the Antarctic past the east coast of Australia in the austral winter and back again in summer for feeding.

An article from a couple of days back covers more concern in Australia about the deaths of young humpback whales, but this time from the west coast. They've even been euthanising some of them down again, but without the huge fuss that surrounded Coleen back in August.

Anyway the reason I post this is to record the population estimate given, again from an Australian scientist:

Mr Burton said WA’s humpback population had grown by up to 10 per cent a year for the past six years and were now thought to number about 12,000.

He said the estimate was based on aerial surveys carried out over Shark Bay and as part of a Federal Government-funded whale monitoring program.

“I think our population on the west coast is fairly robust and probably one of the biggest on the planet,” he said.

That from "Western Whale Research founder and marine biologist Chris Burton".

If this population continues to increase by 10% annually there will be some pretty big numbers there in another 5 to 10 years, but depending on who you listen to this population could still be at just a fraction of it's previous abundance prior to the onset of whaling.

Time will tell how the population dynamics play out in the 21st century, my bets are on time speaking up sooner rather than later.


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