Canadian Bowhead Whale Hunt (fwd)

From: pita admininstrator (
Date: Thu Dec 07 2000 - 15:02:00 EST

Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2000 12:59:28 -0500
From: Phil Clapham <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Re: Canadian Bowhead Whale Hunt (fwd)

In response to Daniel Pike's message about bowheads, I don't disagree
with most of his points, and the IWC clearly (and with good reason)
considers the BCB takes to be sustainable. This population has a
positive growth despite the well-managed hunt.

However, I would note that "no less an authority" than the IWC also
passed a resolution (number 2000-2) at its Adelaide meeting with regard
to eastern Canadian Arctic bowhead whaling, reaffirming the IWC's
"opposition to whaling conducted on highly endangered stocks of whales",
expressing "particular concern" that such whaling is going outside the
control of the IWC, and urging the Government of Canada to "refrain from
issuing a license for the taking of one bowhead whale from the Hudson
Bay-Foxe Basin population". This resolution was essentially a repeat of
three previous resolutions passed in 1996, 1998 and 1999.

Also, the statement that this population "was probably never large" and
may be "approaching or at pre-exploitation levels" takes the minimal
historic data on eastern bowheads well beyond what they can support. We
don't know what the pre-exploitation population was, and probably never

As an aside, I would be interested to see the Inuit Bowhead Knowledge
Study posted somewhere, and for Dan Pike or anyone else to tell us how
it was peer-reviewed.

Phil Clapham


Phillip J. Clapham, Ph.D. Large Whale Biology Program Northeast Fisheries Science Center 166 Water Street Woods Hole, MA 02543

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