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Nature & Environment

Endangered blue whale numbers on the rise

By T.K. Randall
September 6, 2014 · Comment icon 14 comments

Blue whale numbers are on the rise. Image Credit: NOAA
A conservation success story off the coast of California has seen blue whales thriving in recent years.
Measuring up to 100ft in length and weighing in at more than 200 tons, the blue whale is the largest and heaviest living creature to have ever existed in the entire history of the world.

Unfortunately whaling and other human activities have been responsible for a significant decline in blue whale numbers over the years, reducing their population from hundreds of thousands to only around 5,000 to 12,000 individuals at the turn of the century.
Despite pessimistic forecasts about the future of the species however there has been some good news in recent months thanks to increasing numbers being reported off the coast of California.

Following a ban on whaling by the International Whaling Commission in 1966, blue whale numbers in the North Pacific have slowly risen back to what they were before the practice began. Researchers believe that the current population there is now almost 97% of that indicated by historical records.

While there is still a long way to go to restore blue whale numbers across the world, the news is a welcome breath of fresh air in an age dominated by stories of species decline and indicates that we may yet be able to prevent these giants of the deep from disappearing forever.

Source: Washington Post | Comments (14)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by Uncle Sam 9 years ago
Glad the numbers are rising for the endangered Blue Whales, but I think they shouldn't ever be taken off the endangered species list. They are very important to the biodiversity of the ocean.
Comment icon #6 Posted by coolguy 9 years ago
This is awesome news that there makeing a come back.all whaling most stop around the world
Comment icon #7 Posted by SameerPrehistorica 9 years ago
That's a good news..
Comment icon #8 Posted by Hawkin 9 years ago
Does Japan hunt Blues in there waters? I know they do other species.
Comment icon #9 Posted by bobb73 9 years ago
This is excellent news
Comment icon #10 Posted by Silent Trinity 9 years ago
Great to see some positive effects on this majestic species from conservation, a really good news story.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
it's all down to Capt. Kirk's endevours during Star Trek IV. "nuclear wessels" not withstanding..... . Humpbacks.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
Just goes to show that if you stop the hunting of rare wildlife it can make a recovery. How much we complete for food with baleen whales may become the deciding factor in the future if not already; we do take many small fish like anchovies, sardines, etcetera and man is now taking krill for krill oil and meal. Hopefully there is enough to go around for us and them.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Frank Merton 9 years ago
Not hunting (and especially not poaching) them is a good start, but other factors such as degradation of their environment also play a role. I assume you already know this though. The husband of a friend of mine just got a 38 year jail term for smuggling. Now Vietnam is harsh on criminals, but not usually that harsh (and nowhere near the insanity the US applies to sex crimes and drug possession), so I had to ask what in the world they were smuggling. Wood from endangered trees. I feel for the family but serves him right.
Comment icon #14 Posted by bubblykiss 9 years ago Minke whales...but almost funny to see this article just after the the OP's news story. Like I said, almost.

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