The Vaquita Porpoise

The tiny vaquita porpoise of the Gulf of California, Mexico, is the world’s most endangered cetacean species. The International Committee for the Recovery of the Vaquita (CIRVA) has just released a report indicating that the vaquita’s decline toward extinction has accelerated – there may now be fewer than 100 left. Click here to access the CIRVA report. The report calls upon the Government of Mexico to take immediate action to eliminate gillnets from the entire range of the vaquita and to accompany this measure with strong fisheries enforcement action. The Marine Mammal Commission supported the participation of international experts in the meeting and continues to do all it can to assist Mexico in its efforts to ensure the survival of the vaquita.

New York and New Jersey see surge in whale, dolphin, seal and shark numbers

• Humpbacks and great whites abundant off NY and NJ coast. Dolphins and seals are also on the rise.
• Cleaner waters believed responsible for rise in ocean giants

Humpback whales and great white sharks are surging in numbers in the waters around New York City this summer, in a wildlife bonanza that is delighting naturalists, environmentalists and fishermen – if not necessarily bathers.

Off New York and New Jersey, some of the largest creatures in the ocean are being spotted in greater abundance than has been the case for decades. Paul Sieswerda, head of the Gotham Whale volunteer marine wildlife tracking group, believes the increasing abundance of whales around the Big Apple is largely prompted by cleaner waters that have encouraged huge rises in the populations of fish which the whales eat.

Sperm Whale stocks on the rise in the North Sea

The increase in Sperm Whale stocks are resulting in more and more Sperm Whales observations close to the coast of Norway and within Norwegian fjords. People are interacting with these magnificient creatures more and more.

The video in the link shows 15 year old Jan Arthur Harkestad swimming alongside a large Sperm Whale male in Øygarden near Bergen.

Norway’s top marine mammal researcher, Dr. Arne Bjørge at the Marine Mammal Institute in Bergen, points out that Sperm Whales normally stay in deeper water where they hunt for squid. He warns against playful interactions with these whales as they has easily harm or kill humans with a flick of their tail.

Blue Whale numbers now at 97% of pre-whaling level

Good news! According to a study published in the journal Marine Mammal Science, the endangered California blue whale population has probably returned to near pre-whaling levels. Bad news: They’re the first set of blue whales to do so, and we still keep hitting them with ships.
We know that the blue whale population in the North Pacific (most often spotted in California, as the whales migrate there during the summer) has now reached about 2,200, the largest known on earth. Researchers show that the current population is actually at 97 percent of the historical one.
If California has always had a relatively small blue whale population, it explains why the area’s population growth has slowed in recent years: It may be almost back to normal. The researchers believe that our nasty habit of running into whales with our ships (at least 11 were struck along the west coast last year) isn’t actually a major concern. They believe that the population can maintain its stability regardless.