Subject: # of blue whales; eyesight; blubber.

Howard Garrett (
Tue, 4 May 1999 22:24:09 -0400 (EDT)

Mr. Garret,
	I am doing a report on whales and I have a few questions that I can't 
seem to find the answers to.  I am hoping you could help me.  The first 
question is how many blue whales are left in the world?  The next question is 
how good is a whales eyesight?  My last question is about how many pounds of 
blubber is on the typical whale?  I hope that you can help me.

Wanting to know,

        I am not sure of the IWC estimates of blue whale numbers. As I
understand they are not known to have begun to recover from international
industrial whaling of the fifties and sixties. As I recall the number is
well under 10,000, and could be under 2,000, but I don't have the latest
figures on that.

        Whales' eyesight is very good, above and below the surface. 

        I haven't heard estimates on the weight of blubber on the typical
whale. Considering the dozen or so species of great whales and the variety
among them, I don't know how to define typical. But I'll make a guess that
an average humpback, which is an average-size great whale, would have
between 2 tons and 10 tons of blubber, probably depending on the season. But
of course that would be meaningless to the whale, because in the water they
are completely weightless, as if in outer space.

Howard Garrett
Tokitae Foundation
Lolita Campaign Coordinator
(305) 672-4039

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