Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Fin Whale, Under More Threat in the Mediterranean Than Thought

ScienceDaily (July 26, 2012) — Until now it was thought that fin whales in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Alboran Sea made up part of the distribution of this species of whale in the Mediterranean. However, an international team of scientists led by a Spaniard has revealed that their population has been overestimated by including specimens from the Atlantic that visit at certain times the western Mediterranean, where the noise generated by human activity affects their survival.

In 1991 the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) population in the Mediterranean Sea was estimated at 3500 specimens. A new study, published in Marine Mammal Science, now shows that this record included specimens from the Atlantic, and suggests that the distribution and size of the current population of this whale, which is threatened with extinction, should be reconsidered.

"The Mediterranean population has easily been overestimated, as the census included the whole of the southeast Mediterranean, incorporating Atlantic fin whales within the Mediterranean census", reported to SINC Manuel Castellote, the lead author of the study and researcher in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOOA), Seattle (USA).


Continued:  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726101727.htm

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