Subject: Re: # of whaled killed/year

Greg Early (
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 13:48:40 -0500


Below are a couple of links to some information about this (from quite
different sources).

The short answer is "No".  There is not good documentation of how many
endangered whales might be killed as a part of whaling operations.  There
has been a growing effort to better identify the species of whales from
whale meat products through DNA analysis, but outside of the case above,
there has been little evidence of endangered whales being caught.

I also do not know what Roger Payne's latest is.  As you probably know the
interaction between whales and pollution is complex, and even in cases
where it would seem the case is clear (beluga whales in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence) there are still questions about how closely pollutants as a cause
can be pinpointed to a pathological effect.  There has been quite a bit of
research that is scary enough, however regarding vertical passage of body
burdens of pollutants from female whales to their offspring (basically a
young whale will start off life with much of the body burden that it's
mother had).

So stay tuned...


At 06:37 PM 11/10/99 -0600, you wrote:
>I give presentations on endangered animals and the tropical rainforest to 
>about 3,000 students a year in the Houston, Texas area.  I had a question 
>that I thought you could answer for me.
>I wanted to know if you had any figures on how many of the endangered 
>whales are being killed today for whale meat or for any other reasons?  
>Is it enough of a problem that I should mention it in my presentations?   
> I have read about the numbers of minke whales being killed, but not ones 
>that are listed on the U.S. endangered list.  Any information?  Is there 
>any information yet from the study that Roger Payne was doing trying to 
>determine where the whales are with pollution today?
>I certainly do appreciate your help!
>Mary Vogas
>Environmental Educator
Greg Early
Edgerton Research Laboratory				
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf
Boston, Mass 02110
617-973-5246 (phone)
617-723-6207 (FAX)