Rare Russian Whale Tracked to Mexico, a First for Science

From: LiveScience

Scientists have tracked a critically endangered western gray whale from its native habitat in the chilly Pacific Ocean off Russia for thousands of miles to balmy lagoons off the coast of Mexico — a first for the rare whales.

Now, the 9-year-old female — dubbed Varvara, the Russian equivalent of Barbara — is making her way back up the west coast of North America, and appears to be returninghome.

On Friday (March 16), Varvara was near the Canadian border, and traveling about 100 miles (160 kilometers) a day.


Rare whale swims up West Coast to Russian home (Huffington Post)

By Dan Joling

From: Huffington Post

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A rare western Pacific gray whale that crossed the Pacific Ocean from Russian waters and spent time off Baja Mexico has moved back north along the west coast of the United States.

Scientists expect the whale to cross the Pacific again to summer feeding grounds off Russia’s Sakhalin Island.

The 9-year-old whale was named Varvara, the Russian version of Barbara. It was tagged off Sahkalin last fall by U.S. and Russia scientists.

Her journey is the first time scientists have documented an endangered western gray whale traveling to Baja Mexico, where most eastern gray whales breed and give birth every year.


Application of Regulatory Impact Assessments to OSPAR Guidance

OSPAR in the process of developing guidance to mitigate the impacts of underwater noise. A number of member states have detailed procedures for conducting regulatory impact assessments, see the attachment hereto.

 What regulatory impact assessment procedures are applicable to OSPAR activities?



WGAP Meets in Geneva

The Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel held its 11th meeting on February 12-14, 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland.  An agenda for the meeting is available online at

Topics discussed included 2-year evaluation; reports on field activities in 2011; and satellite tagging.

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