Australian Humpback Whale population increasing at 10% per year

The Australian Whale Conservation Society (AWCS) chairman Paul Hodda says the humpback whale population is increasing. “The humpback whales that migrate up the east coast of Australia have certainly increased in numbers,” he said. They’ are recovering now at about 10 per cent a year

AWCS says heavy whaling in past decades threatened the species. “They were very severely hunted up until the early and mid 1960’s and we’re lucky we didn’t lose them altogether. He says not much science was done in the days of whaling. “But we believe there may have been 30,000 humpback whales in the group that is off the eastern coast of Australia,” he said.

The population increase is occurring in areas with decade long shipping and oil and gas activities. The findings support the effectiveness of mitigation measures in use during seismic surveys to ensure that marine mammals are safeguarded by the geophysical operators. (http://www.appea.com.au/oil-gas-explained/operation/seismic-surveys/

Based in part on article by ABCNews (21 June 2013)

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