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Fin whale

Fin whales return to old feeding grounds in Southern Ocean

An exciting discovery by researchers in the waters around Antarctica suggest that fin whales are...
Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...
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  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
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Port River dolphins

New report reveals 100,000 dolphins and small whales hunted every year

When you hear the words ‘dolphin hunts’ it’s likely that you think of Japan or...

Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year. The common minke whale is the...

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...

Icelandic whalers breach international law and kill iconic, protected whale by mistake

Icelandic whalers out hunting fin whales for the first time in three years appear to...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...

End the whale hunts! Icelandic fin whaler isolated as public mood shifts

Here’s a sight I hoped never again to witness. A boat being scrubbed and repainted...

Australian Government to block Japanese whaling proposal

Japanese Government officials have reportedly confirmed that they will propose the resumption of commercial whaling...

Pregnant whales once again a target for Japanese whalers

Figures from Japan's whaling expedition to Antarctica during the 2017/18 austral summer have revealed that...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

I have to admit to bitter disappointment when I arrived in Tromsø, northern Norway, a...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

Early warning signs signalled collapse of whale numbers

Commercial whaling devastated whale populations during the 20th century and as the whalers targeted the largest individuals, so the body size of bluefinsei and sperm whales, dramatically shrank. 

A new scientific study by the University of Zurich in Switzerland shows that in the case of the sperm whale, they were around four metres shorter on average by the 1980s than they had been at the start of the century. It would suggest that the warning signs of what would happen to whales stocks were detectable up to 40 years before they collapsed.

A similar pattern has also been discovered in fish stocks that have been heavily depleted, indicating that recording the size of a species could be used as a method to monitor its population health and implement conservation efforts when warning signs appear.

Full report:
Body size shifts and early warning signals precede the historic collapse of whale stocks
Christopher F. Clements, Julia L. Blanchard, Kirsty L. Nash, Mark A. Hindell, Arpat Ozgul
Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, Article number: 0188 (2017)