Monday, 24 March 2014

Fishy Numbers? Minke Whales Hide in Ice, Fooling Scientists

Elizabeth Howell, LiveScience contributor | March 21, 2014 02:29pm ET

Conventional population surveys of minke whales are flawed because the whales hide in broken-up sea ice, far from where boats can usually go, a new study says.

The finding points to the need to use aerial and boat surveys in this challenging environment, the researcher's lead author said, but he worries the expense will make it difficult to convince authorities this is the preferred method to seek out the whales.

Minke whales are small baleen whales that live in all oceans, but typically prefer chilly waters. The International Whaling Commission estimates that Antarctic minke whales have declined throughout the Southern Ocean by about 30 percent.

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