Subject: Norwegian humpback whales (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:33:27 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 11:47:53 +0000
From: "Peter T. Stevick" <>
Reply-To: Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
Subject: Norwegian humpback whales

The following paper was recently published.

Stevick, P. T., N. Oien and D. K. Mattila. 1999. Migratory destinations of
humpback whales from Norwegian and adjacent waters: evidence for stock
identity. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 1(2):147-152.


Migratory destinations of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the
eastern North Atlantic were investigated using natural markings. A total of
96 individuals was identified from Norwegian and adjacent waters during
1992 and 1993: of these 63 were observed in the Norwegian and Barents Seas
and 33 in the Greenland Sea near Jan Mayen. These were compared with other
individuals identified throughout the North Atlantic to identify
re-sightings. Ten individuals were identified in both Norway and in the
West Indies. There were no significant differences in this West Indies
exchange rate between the sample from Norway or either Norwegian sub-area
and any other feeding area in the North Atlantic. The mean West Indies
sighting date for humpback whales from Norway was 2 March, significantly
later than the overall means for sightings from the West Indies. The
individuals identified represent a variety of reproductive classes and both
sexes. Observations of mothers with newborn calves, and males in
competitive groups, provide the strongest evidence to date that the West
Indies is utilized as a breeding and calving ground by humpback whales
which feed in Norwegian waters. These results suggest that the West Indies
is an important, and likely the primary, breeding destination for
individual humpback whales feeding off Norway.

Reprints should be available shortly. Requests should be directed to me

Peter T. Stevick
Sea Mammal Research Unit
Gatty Marine Laboratory
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews, Fife
KY16 8LB  Scotland