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OVERVIEW Lethal whaling in the Southern Ocean Non-lethal research Conclusion.

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Presentation on theme: "OVERVIEW Lethal whaling in the Southern Ocean Non-lethal research Conclusion."— Presentation transcript:


2 OVERVIEW Lethal whaling in the Southern Ocean Non-lethal research Conclusion

3 LETHAL RESEARCH: JARPA 1987-2005 1987/05: More than 6800 minke whales killed during the 18 year programme Few peer-reviewed papers No formal review has been completed by the IWC Scientific Committee Data derived not required for management

4 LETHAL RESEARCH: JARPA II 2005-INDEFINITE JARPA II announced in 2005 –IWC 57 Resolution called on the proponent not to proceed 2 year feasibility study: 2005/06 and 2006/07 Full programme from 2007/08: open-ended – Up to 935 minke whales per year – 50 fin whales per year – 50 humpback whales per year

5 JARPA II: HUMPBACK WHALES Listed as “vulnerable” by IUCN Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale Comprehensive Assessment Workshop in April 2006 concluded that: –Humpback whale populations more complex than previously thought –Knowledge gaps can be filled with non-lethal techniques, particularly genetics, and remote telemetry A small take of humpback whales that migrate between the Southern Ocean and the South Pacific could have severe conservation implications Humpbacks are the basis for whale watching in Australia and the South Pacific

6 JARPA II: FIN WHALES Second largest animal in the world after blue whales About 723 000 killed to 1979 So rare we do not have even a rough estimate of numbers Listed as “endangered” on the IUCN red list– there should be no human induced mortality Lethal sampling of these endangered whales will not improve our knowledge and will threaten the species survival

7 NON-LETHAL RESEARCH TECHNIQUES Non-lethal research techniques currently being used by Australia and others include: –Visual and acoustic surveys to determine population numbers –Satellite tracking to gain information on whale movements necessary to determine population boundaries and structure –Faeces sampling to gain a complete picture of whale feeding habits –Biopsy sampling to provide material to assist with: Population structure (using genetic techniques) Pre-exploitation stock size (using genetic techniques) Reproductive status (hormone analysis) Age profiling (through emerging DNA research) Toxin concentrations (e.g. heavy metals and pesticides)

8 CONCLUSION Lethal whaling: –is not required to identify the gaps in the IWC’s knowledge of whale populations –impacts on endangered and vulnerable populations Non-lethal research techniques : –have been developed that enable us to study whale populations without threatening their status –can, and should, be used in all circumstances


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