Nature & Environment
Endangered blue whale numbers on the rise
By T.K. Randall
September 6, 2014 · 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
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