Whales on the Rebound

Northern Pacific humpback whale numbers are rising

10-01-2008 // Hannah Schardt

THERE’S GOOD NEWS in the North Pacific: Humpback whales, once hunted nearly to extinction, are on the rebound. In 1966, when international whaling of humpbacks was banned, fewer than 1,500 of the mammals lived in the North Pacific. Now, at least 18,000 swim those same seas, according to a new study funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Some populations, however—particularly those in the western Pacific—have not recovered and are still at significant risk.

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