Sounds like you have done a very good job at your research. And probably
the most accurate thing you can say is that we do not have a very good
count of the population today. There are some good reasons for this
Too fast for early sail-driven whalers (blue whale can swim as fast as 19
mph when chased), blue whales were not heavily hunted until the twentieth
century when they became the most sought after catch of modern commercial
whalers. In a single Antarctic season in 1930-31 over 30,000 blue whales
were caught (probably more than exist worldwide today). Despite a
reduction in hunting in the southern hemisphere soon after this season, and
complete protection of all populations by international agreement in 1965,
blue whale populations have yet to recover.
Blue whales have been reported worldwide in every part of the worlds
oceans, however they have been found most abundantly in their polar feeding
grounds. There may be a population of roughly 6,000-8,000 in the Antarctic
and there could be as many as 1,500 in both the North Atlantic and North
Pacific oceans (although estimates in the North Atlantic have been as low
as several hundred).
Widely dispersed even when they were abundant, there were probably no more
than one whale per 20 square miles of ocean, scientists estimate.
It is easy tosee how the worlds largest living animal can disappear so
completely in the vastness of the ocean and why, even today so little is
known about their life and behavior.
6,000-14,000 Estimated Blue Whale Population today (best guess)....
From: Emrush [SMTP:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 7:17 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Dear Mr. Early,
I am researching Blue Whales for a school project, and am finding
population surveys that differ greatly - from fewer than 100 to more than
10 000. I was wondering what the most accurate response would be.
Jenny Rushby << File: ATT00004.htm >>
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