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[37] To date, however, scientific consensus still considers Hunterius swedenborgii to be a North Atlantic right whale. Approximate figures:[31], Almost all of the 400 North Atlantic right whales live in the western North Atlantic Ocean. A remnant population of right whales persists in the Sea of Okhotsk at least in the summer, along with remnant populations of the western populations of gray and bowhead whales. [28] In May 2007, a 15 m (49 ft) specimen caught off the Alaskan coast was discovered with the 3.5 in (89 mm) head of an explosive harpoon of a model manufactured between 1879 and 1885, so the whale was probably harpooned sometime between those years, and its age at the time of death was estimated at between 115 and 130 years. [46] Right whales are very large, robust whales that can grow up to and over 18 m (59 ft) long and weigh up to 100 short tons (91 t; 89 long tons), almost as big as bowhead whales and much larger than other species with high dependencies on shallow waters. [112], A breaching right whale was observed during a sightseeing cruise off the Shiretoko Peninsula in July 2013 making it the first confirmed sighting in the area for several decades and the first recorded in Hokkaido. Each nation employed its own whaling inspectors at whaling stations and aboard whaling factory ships. PeerJ 5:e3464. [24][25] Pre-World War I whaling logs from Japan also describe right whales as being among the most sensitive of targeted baleen or toothed species to the impacts of whaling, as they immediately fled from locations where whaling took place, possibly abandoning their habitat for good. In Burns, J. J.; Montague, J. J.; and Cowles, C. J. Japanese Coast Guard has started to collect sighting records of large whales in the area, but majorities of species identities of each records are unspecified in their log, hence it is unknown if any right whales have ever been actually sighted. Würsig, B. and C. Clark (1993). [17] These traits correspond with some of recent observations in which whales seemed to be very sensitive to vessels and easily swim away with by submerging longer to avoid ships enough for onlookers and observers to lose sights. Right whales were a preferred target for whalers because of their docile nature, their slow surface-skimming feeding behaviors, their tendency to stay close to the coast, and their high blubber content (which makes them float when they are killed, and which produced high yields of whale oil). [15] Bowheads are not thought to be deep divers, but they can reach a depth down to 500 ft (150 m). Fragments of a lower jaw, measuring 4.6 m in length and likely to be artificially sliced off, was discovered on a beach in Akkeshi in June 2014.[109]. [244][245] In the late 1970s, at least two cow-calf pairs were confirmed during cetacean surveys by Institute of Cetacean Research in very nearby area of Suruga Bay and off Bentenjima Island in Enshunada Sea, and another whale was observed in exactly the same area (Kumomi) in 1996 as well. [91], The bowhead is listed in Appendix I by CITES. Later, morphological factors such as differences in the skull shape of northern and southern right whales indicated at least two species of right whale—one in the Northern Hemisphere, the other in the Southern Ocean. However, this origin is questionable: in his history of American whaling, Eric Jay Dolin writes: Despite this highly plausible rationale, nobody actually knows how the right whale got its name. Balaena is considered a monotypic genus, as it has only a single extant species, the bowhead whale (B . & Zerbini, A.N. [82] Both stocks are rising, and the indigenous hunts seem to be self-sustaining. Several observations of North Pacific right whales to interact with groups or solitary humpback whales have been recorded in both Eastern and Western North Pacific. [86], In the North Pacific, the first bowheads were taken off the eastern coast of Kamchatka by the Danish whaleship Neptun, Captain Thomas Sodring, in 1845. [81], Recent occurrences of right whales near the Kuril islands are largely unknown due to lack of observation effort; however, recent sightings indicate that the areas adjacent to Paramushir Island and surrounding, and west of the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula are seemingly one of the most populated locations for this species today. [14], The three Eubalaena species inhabit three distinct areas of the globe: the North Atlantic in the western Atlantic Ocean, the North Pacific in a band from Japan to Alaska and all areas of the Southern Ocean. All larger cetaceans passing through under threats of being struck by vessels on various sea-lanes in Asian nations,[204] especially in the Tsushima Strait. National Marine Fisheries Service researchers mapped the southeast Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska for areas with sufficient productivity to support such concentrations and analyzed the roles of bathymetry and various gyres in concentrating copepods to such densities. [78][79][80], The southern right whale is listed as "endangered" under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, as "nationally endangered" under the New Zealand Threat Classification System, as a "natural monument" by the Argentine National Congress, and as a "State Natural Monument" under the Brazilian National Endangered Species List.[80]. Researchers used data about adult female populations from three surveys (one in each of Argentina, South Africa and Australia) and extrapolated to include unsurveyed areas and estimated counts of males and calves (using available male:female and adult:calf ratios), giving an estimated 1997 population of 7,500 animals. Right whales or black whales are three species of large baleen whales of the genus Eubalaena: the North Atlantic right whale (E. glacialis), the North Pacific right whale (E. japonica) and the Southern right whale (E. australis).They are classified in the family Balaenidae with the bowhead whale.Right whales have rotund bodies with arching rostrums, V-shaped blowholes and dark gray or black skin. A photo and a video are available. [190] Right whales were not mentioned specifically in the reasons for this withdrawal.[191]. [85], Commercial bowhead whaling began in the 16th century when the Basques killed them as they migrated south through the Strait of Belle Isle in the fall and early winter. [84], Media related to Balaena mysticetus at Wikimedia Commons, Whales swimming in the Lindholm Strait of the Shantar Islands, in the northwestern Sea of Okhotsk[95], Cavorting whale in northwestern part of Sea of Okhotsk[59], Map of the bowhead whale ranges centered over the North Pole. This whale was very curious and active; it swam around a vessel for more than 2 hours, displayed all the aerial actions several times (breaching, spyhopping, tail-slapping, pec-slapping) alongside the vessel, and the vessel had to cruise away from the whale because it kept following the vessel. These calls are all low frequency sounds that appear to have social communication functions, but what exactly those functions are is not yet known. All the modern records of entanglement have involved Japanese fisheries including cases in the Russian Far East in which about 60% of all cetacean (medium to larger species) entanglements recorded in the Sea of Okhotsk were caused by Japanese fisheries.[202]. The seasonal ranges of the two species do not overlap. [24] Bowhead whales are filter feeders, feeding by swimming forward with mouth wide open. For example, a sailor on a yacht had a very close encounter with a cow-calf pair breaching off Miura Peninsula in earlier 2000s. "Historic Distribution and Abundance of the Right Whale (, "Spatial and Seasonal Distribution of American Whaling and Whales in the Age of Sail", KMXT 100.1 FM – Public Radio for Kodiak Island, Alaska. Content retrieved from Wikipedia, and managed by the Marine Mammal Science Education Committee. During the winter months (July–October), southern right whales come so close to the shoreline, visitors can watch whales from strategically placed hotels. However, until 2017, it had never been proven than it was right whales in the North Pacific that were the whales making this type of call, so detection of gunshots was not considered a reliable indicator of the presence of right whales. [84] The proposal, opposed by some shipping interests, limited ship speeds during calving season. [76] In winter in Argentina, Península Valdés in Patagonia hosts the largest breeding population of the species, with more than 2,000 animals catalogued by the Whale Conservation Institute and Ocean Alliance. In the United States, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a subagency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has classified all three species as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act. [10] For the next 180 years, the family Balaenidae was the subject of great taxonometric debate. They also exceed predictions in terms of relative size, as well – they are six times larger than would be expected on the basis of body mass. This sighting was later confirmed by a local marine biologist working at an aquarium.[167]. Gregr used maps of historic whaling catches and added oceanographic data from other sources to identify preferred habitats. Therefore the relative impact to recovery is ranked as unknown.". Right whales in the Southern Hemisphere and the North Atlantic make a variety of vocalizations that have been researched extensively in the last decade. Thus, the two northern right whale species are the most endangered of all large whales and two of the most endangered animal species in the world. In the eastern portion of their range, there are so few whales that researchers have described it looking for a needle in a haystack. Off Kii Peninsula, in April 2011, the same whale-watching operator who had encountered two right whales in 2006 had a very close encounter with a right whale. [52], In 2006, former Soviet whale biologist Nikolai Doroshenko published records of 372 right whales caught by the Soviet whaling fleets Vladivostok and Dalnij Vostok in the Bering Sea and eastern North Pacific between 1963 and 1968. An unusually large 40% of their body weight is blubber, which is of relatively low density. The North Atlantic right whale has a single surviving breeding population in the western North Atlantic, and is classed as critically endangered, with a total population best estimate of 411 individuals remaining alive as of 2017. It is the only baleen whale endemic to the Arctic and subarctic waters. Its baleen is the longest of that of any whale, at 3 m (9.8 ft), and is used to strain tiny prey from the water. Right whales continued to be taken, although uncommonly due to their rarity. What little is known about North Pacific right whale behavior suggests that it is similar to the behavior of right whales in other oceans, except in its choice of wintering grounds.

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