Study

The status of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in east Australia thirty years after whaling

  • Published source details Paterson R., Paterson P. & Cato D.H. (1994) The status of humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae in east Australia thirty years after whaling. Biological Conservation, 70, 135-142.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Prohibit or restrict hunting of marine and freshwater mammal species

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Prohibit or restrict hunting of marine and freshwater mammal species

    A before-and-after study in 1962 and 1984–1992 of a pelagic area in the South Pacific Ocean, Australia (Paterson et al. 1994) reported that after legislation to prohibit hunting was introduced, sightings of migrating humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae increased over 30 years. Results are not based on assessments of statistical significance. The average number of sightings of migrating humpback whales was higher 30 years after commercial whaling was prohibited (14.4 sightings/10 h) than during the final year of whaling (8.5 sightings/10 h). Daily sightings during the peak four-week migration period were estimated to increase by an average of 12% each year from 22 to 30 years after whaling was prohibited. Legal protection from commercial whaling began in 1963. Whale sightings were collated from multiple studies (see original paper for details). Migrating whales were observed from a headland during daylight hours during at least 4 days/week in June–August in 1984–1992. Data for the final year of whaling were collected by whaling boats assisted by aircraft in 1962.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

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