SIMoN
Special Status Species
SPECIAL STATUS SPECIES: NORTH PACIFIC RIGHT WHALE (Eubalaena japonica)
North Pacific Right Whale Photo: NOAA Common name: North Pacific right whale
Scientific name: Eubalaena japonica
 
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Range Habitat Movements
Abundance Natural History Threats
Conservation Research Gaps Recommended Actions
References Resources

Listing Status
Endangered Species Act (?)
Status: Endangered (all stocks)
Critical Habitat: Not designated
Recovery Plan: Yes, released in 19911
Five Year Status Review: None

California Endangered Species Act (?)
Status: Not listed

California Department of Fish and Game (?)
Status: Fully protected

Marine Mammal Protection Act (?)
Status: Depleted; strategic stock
Stock Assessment: Updated annually2

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) (?)
Status: Endangered

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) (?)
Appendix I

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) (?)
Appendix I

Geographic Range
General:

Prior to exploitation, this species occurred in temperate and subarctic latitudes of the North Pacific, with concentrations above 40°N and occasional sightings as far south as 20°N (Figure 1).3,4 This species was commonly sighted in the Gulf of Alaska, eastern Aleutians Islands, south-central Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan and in offshore waters across the North Pacific.3,4 Historic catch records show that this species was present off the coast of British Columbia from April to October.5 The post-exploitation distribution is believed to be much more limited though the general paucity of sightings makes it difficult to determine the exact distribution in the North Pacific.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) stock assessment reports recognize two stocks of right whales in the North Pacific: 1) a Sea of Okhotsk stock and 2) an eastern North Pacific stock.2 The range of the eastern North Pacific stock is from Baja California, Mexico to the Bering Sea. The southeast Bering Sea is the only area where this species has been sighted consistently since 1980 (Figure 2).6 Infrequently right whales have been sighted or detected acoustically in the Gulf of Alaska shelf and slope waters.6 Occasionally, right whales have been sighted off the Hawaiian Islands, Baja California, southern and central California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia (Figure 3, Table 1).7 Despite occasional sightings, there is no evidence that the western coast of North America (Washington to Baja California) was ever a historically important habitat for this species.3

MBNMS:

The potential geographic range of this species overlaps the entire geographic range of the Sanctuary, but sightings in the Sanctuary are very rare. The known sightings since 1900 are: Point Montara (1959); Pigeon Point (1963); Pillar Point (1982); Piedras Blancas (1995); and Big Sur (1998) (Figure 3, Table 1).7


Figure 1.Occupied range of Northern right whales (both western and eastern populations) in the North Pacific at the time of listing under the Endangered Species Act (from Alaska Regional Office http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/nright/rule/NRW_Figure1.pdf).


Figure 2. Proposed critical habitat for Northern right whales in the North Pacific. Proposed boundaries are shown in red. All observations of northern right whales in the area since ESA-listing in 1973 are shown (blue boxes) (from NMFS Alaska Regional Office http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/nright/rule/default.htm)

Figure 3. All sightings of North Pacific Right Whales along the west coast of North America from British Columbia to Baja Mexico and Hawaii since 1856. See Table 1 for information on data sources.
Table 1. All known sightings of North Pacific Right Whales off the coast of North America from British Columbia south to Mexico since 1856.
Date Group Size Location Description Latitude, Longitude Source
4/4/1856 2 whales east of Guadalupe Island, Mexico

28°30’N,
117 °00’W

7
1878-79 1 whale Point Sur, central California 36°20’N,
121 °55’W
27
1884-85 3 whales San Simeon, central California 35°40’N,
121 °20’W
27
11/14/1916 1 whale stranded on Santa Cruz Island, southern California   28
4/1924 1 whale off Farallon Islands, central California   27
3/31/1955 1 whale off La Jolla, southern California 32°50’N,
117 °30’W
27
4/8/1959 3 whales 80 m W of Tillamook Head, Washington 45 °55’N,
125 °55’W
29
4/19/1959 8 whales 13 m SW of Destruction Island, Washington 47 °35’N,
124 °46’W
29
5/13/1959 1 whale 16 miles SW Pt Montara, central California 37 °25’N,
122 °48’W
7
4/11/1963 1 whale 61 miles SW Pigeon Point, central California 37 °08’N,
123 °05’W
7
5/10/1963 1 whale 44 km SSW Farallon Island, central California 37 °20’N,
123 °10’W
7
3/11/1965 2 whales 12 km SW Punta Abreojos, Baja Mexico 26 °39’N,
113 °40’W
7
1/17/1967 3 whales 28 km WSW of Cape Flattery, Washington 48 °20 N,
125 °06 W
7
9/13/1974 1 whale 60 km W of Fort Bragg, northern California 39 °35’N,
124 °45’W
4
4/17/1981 1 whale Santa Barbara Channel, southern California 34 °07’N,
119 °18’W
28
3/20/1982 1 whale 1.5 km off Pillar Point, central California 37 °30’N,
122 °30’W
30
8/28/1983 2 whales Juan de Fuca Strait, British Columbia 48 °33’N,
124 °39’W
7
2/5/1988 1 whale La Jolla, southern California 32°50’N,
117 °30’W
31
5/9/1990 1 whale 8 miles N of Santa Catalina Island, southern California 33 °28’N,
118 °25’W
7
3/24/1992 1 whale 70.4 km SW of San Clemente Island, southern California 32 °14’N,
118 °42’W
32
5/24/1992 1 whale 65 km W of Cape Elizabeth, Washington 47 °17’N,
125 °11’W
33
5/3/1995 1 whale off Piedras Blancas, central California 35 °40’N,
121 °17’W
7
2/20/1996 1 whale 15 miles off Cabo San Lucas, Mexico 23 °02'N,
109 °30'W
34
2/27/1998 1 whale Big Sur Coast near Cape San Martin, central California 35 °44'N,
121 °30'W
35

 

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Habitat
General:

Currently this species is sighted in coastal and continental shelf waters (<200 m deep).6 Between three and 24 right whales have been observed near the middle shelf and the inner front of the southeast Bering Sea each year since 1996. A review of historic sighting records showed that the number of sightings of this species in coastal and continental waters decreased markedly in winter, suggesting that the population moved offshore in the winter.7 Records from whaling ships indicate that this species was captured in pelagic waters of the North Pacific.7 Currently, it is unknown whether this species is found primarily in nearshore habitats or if it also occurs in pelagic waters because search effort is concentrated in coastal waters. However, the historical data strongly suggest a pelagic distribution, which may or may not be relevant to the remnant population today.

MBNMS:

This species appears to be rare along the central California coast. Sightings have occurred only in nearshore waters, but this pattern may be caused by a much higher concentration of search effort in coastal waters. When right whales do occur in the MBNMS waters, it is unknown whether they are feeding in, or merely transiting through, the area.

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Migration and Movements
General:

The migratory patterns of this population is unknown, though available data suggest a general northward migration in spring from lower latitudes, and major concentrations above 40°N in the summer.3 Other species of right whales show the same migratory pattern of spending the summer on high-latitude feeding grounds and migrating to more temperate waters in the winter, although there is no single migratory pattern that applies to the entire population. Pregnant females may have a different migratory route than the rest of the population.8

Right whales appear to stay in the southeastern Bering Sea through at least November.9 It is thought that this species moves to pelagic (offshore) areas in the North Pacific during the winter.4,10 Scattered sightings along the coast of North America between Washington and Baja suggest that, in some years, one or more animals migrate along the coast to lower latitudes in the winter and spring.7 Calving grounds have not been positively identified for this species; the only sightings of calves have occurred recently in the Bering Sea.2

MBNMS:

Of the 15 whales sighted between California and Baja over the last century, all but one were seen between February and May. These data suggest that at least some right whales migrate to temperate waters for the winter and spring.7

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Abundance
General:

This species is among the world’s most critically endangered mammals. Prior to whaling this stock has been estimated to exceed 11,000 animals.1 Intensive whaling began in the mid-1800’s and by 1900 this species was already rare throughout its range. Full legal protection from harvest began in 1946. However, right whales continued to be taken by both illegal whaling (USSR) and legal research whaling (Japan and USSR) through the 1960s.11 This take reduced the already small population to possibly fewer than 100 individuals in the eastern North Pacific, and perhaps a few hundred in the western stock. A reliable estimate of the current North Pacific population size is not available, but most biologists believe the current population is unlikely to exceed 100 whales.11

The southeastern Bering Sea has been surveyed extensively since 1996. In summer of 2004 during a survey cruise for humpback whales, right whales were sighted 8 different times and 20-25 individuals, including 3 calves, were identified.12 Other than a few sighting of calves in the Bering Sea over the last few years, calves had not been seen in the eastern North Pacific for over 100 years. Some courtship activity has been observed in the southeast Bering Sea, but mating was not observed.13


MBNMS:

This species is very rare in the MBNMS. Only 5 individuals have been seen in Sanctuary waters since 1900. Analysis of catch records and other historical and archaeological data reveal that this species was never captured in large numbers along the coast of California, so the current rarity in the area is unlikely to be due to drastic population declines.7

 
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Natural History
Click here to view the natural history information of this species.

Threats
General:

Given the low occurrence of sighting of either live or dead North Pacific right whales, determining threats to this population is difficult. Many of the potential threats listed below are based on known threats to other right whale populations or other species of baleen whale.

The extremely low abundance and scattered distribution of this population probably pose the greatest threat for a number of reasons:
  • Finding a mate may be difficult leading to reduced reproductive rates ('Allee' effect).
  • Low population size puts this population at risk from stochastic perturbations that further reduce the size or health of the population (e.g., inbreeding depression).17
  • Irregular sightings make it difficult to effectively research and manage this population.

Collisions with ships: No vessel-related mortalities have been recorded for this population.2 Because right whales are slow-swimmers that spend much of their time near the surface, they are susceptible to collisions with vessels. Laist (2001) found that motorized ships, including commercial freighters and fishing vessels, commonly strike North Atlantic and Southern right whales.18

Entanglement in fishing gear: One right whale death has been observed due to entanglement in fishing gear in the western North Pacific.19 The southeast Bering Sea supports a large fishing industry, but entanglement in gear has not been observed in the area.2

Intentional take (either under scientific research permits, by subsistence hunting, or by illegal whaling): Between 1963 and 1967, 372 right whales were killed illegally by the Soviet Union; of these, 251 were taken in the Gulf of Alaska south of Kodiak, and 121 in the southeastern Bering Sea.7 In addition, 23 right whales (2 of which were pregnant females) were taken under special scientific research permits during the 50’s and 60’s by Japanese and Soviet researchers.11 Take has not been recorded for this species since the 1970s.

Acoustic disturbance (e.g., noise from ships, aircraft, research boats, and military and industrial activities): There is concern about the potential negative impacts of active-sonar, specifically low frequency (100-500 Hz) and mid-frequency (2.8-3.3 kHz) active sonar, used in military activities by the U.S. and other nations.20 The impact of seismic testing for geological mapping and oil and gas exploration is also unknown.

Habitat degradation (e.g., chemical pollution, oil pollution): Any increase in offshore oil and gas development in the Bering Sea and along the west coast of North America would increase both the potential of oil or chemical spills and the amount of shipping traffic through right whale habitat. This species spends most of its time near the surface, increasing the potential for contact with spilled oil.

MBNMS:

No threats are unique to the MBNMS

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Conservation and Research
Federal
General:

In 1935 right whales in the North Pacific were given international protection, but this protection was not agreed to by all whaling nations. Full protection, which was agreed to by all whaling nations, began in 1946 under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. However, this was violated by the USSR, which took large numbers of right whales illegally, primarily in the 1960’s. North Pacific right whales are listed as "endangered" under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the eastern North Pacific stock is considered "depleted", a "strategic stock", and a “species of special concern” under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Under the ESA and MMPA, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is responsible for management and recovery of right whales in U.S. waters.

As required under the MMPA, NMFS annually updates the Stock Assessment Reports for all strategic stocks. Current Stock Assessment Reports are available on the NOAA Office of Protected Resources website. The MMPA also requires the formation of Take Reduction Plans to reduce the incidental serious injury and mortality of marine mammals from commercial fishing operations. In 1997 NMFS implemented a Take Reduction Plan for Pacific Offshore Cetaceans to address incidental takes of cetaceans in the California/Oregon swordfish drift gillnet fishery. The plan included skipper education workshops and required the use of pingers and minimum 36 feet extenders. Since implementation, overall cetacean entanglement rates in the California/Oregon swordfish drift gillnet fishery have dropped considerably.21 Though right whales are rare off of California and Oregon, the Take Reduction Plan may help prevent the entanglement of right whales in this area.

As required under the ESA, NMFS assembled a recovery team to write a recovery plan for this species. The recovery team was formed in 1991, and the team prepared a recovery plan for the North Atlantic and North Pacific populations. No down-listing or recovery criteria were included in the plan for the North Pacific population. A recovery team is developing a new recovery plan for the North Pacific right whale, but this plan is not currently available.

In 2000, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) petitioned NMFS to designate as critical habitat the middle shelf and inner front regions of the southeast Bering Sea.17 In 2002, NMFS determined that the petition is not warranted at this time.22 NMFS found that the extent of critical habitat could not be determined because the essential biological requirements of the population in the North Pacific Ocean are not sufficiently understood. In October 2004 CBD filed a complaint in court to compel NMFS to designate the described area as critical habitat for this species.23 In 2005, NMFS proposed two critical habitat areas for right whales in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea that cover about 95,200 km2 of marine habitat (Figure 2).11

NMFS is responsible for conducting research that determines the status of the North Pacific right whale and implementing actions to facilitate the recovery of the species. NMFS is involved currently in the following research projects:

North Pacific Right Whale Tagging Project (Principal Investigator: Paul R. Wade, Cetacean Assessment and Ecology Program (CAEP), National Marine Mammal Laboratory). The three main questions that are being addressed by this study are: (1) where do North Pacific right whales go in the winter; (2) what migratory route do they take to get to their wintering grounds; and (3) do right whales found in the southeast Bering Sea in summer (in the “right whale box”) also use other feeding areas in Alaska. Collaborators: Dr. Mads Peter Heide-Joergensen, Greenland Institute for Natural Resources (GINR) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Bering Sea Right Whales - Acoustic Recordings and Public Outreach (Principal Investigator: John Hildebrand, Scripps Institute of Oceanography). This project is collecting acoustic data from the southeastern Bering Sea to characterize abundance, distribution, calling behavior, and habitat preferences of North Pacific right whales. Collaborators: NMFS, NOAA/National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), Oregon State University, Whale Acoustics Inc., and Bering Strait School District (BSSD). Funding: North Pacific Marine Research Institute.

Shipboard Cetacean Surveys (Lead Scientists: Jay Barlow and Karin Forney, Coastal Marine Mammal Program, NMFS-Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)). The abundance of cetaceans along the U.S. west coast is periodically estimated from ship-board surveys. Most recently, surveys occurred in 1993, 1996, 2001, and 2005. These surveys are anticipated to continue every 4-5 years.12 The multi-year (2004-2006) SPLASH (Structure of Population, Levels of Abundance, and Status of Humpbacks) research program, though targeting humpback whales, is recording the distribution and abundance of other cetaceans as time allows. Though sightings of North Pacific right whales are very rare in waters south of the Bering Sea, these surveys will collect data if any individuals are sighted.

Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program Network (Southwest Regional Stranding Coordinator: Joe Cordaro, NMFS-SWFSC). The network consists of volunteer groups that respond to marine mammal strandings in different parts of the southwest region. Samples from stranded animals provide information on biological parameters, including age, length, reproductive condition, contaminant loads, stock discreteness, types of parasites or diseases, and cause of death. In addition to collecting data from stranded animals, this program assesses health trends, correlates health with available data on physical, chemical, environmental, and biological parameters, and coordinates effective responses to unusual mortality events.

As required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, NMFS is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Northern Right Whale research in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The EIS will address the potential environmental impacts associated with the issuance of permits for scientific research on right whales. The environmental impacts of past, current and projected future research methods will be evaluated. The geographic areas that will be covered under the EIS include water off Alaska, and known summering grounds, wintering grounds and migratory corridors in the western Atlantic Ocean. A draft version of the EIS will be issued in October 2006.

MBNMS:

CSCAPE - Collaborative Survey of Cetacean Abundance and the Pelagic Ecosystem (Principal Investigator: Karin Forney, NMFS-SWFSC). The 2005 shipboard cetacean survey was part of a collaboration with the National Marine Sanctuary Program called CSCAPE. The primary objective of CSCAPE was to combine the typical marine mammal assessment survey with fine-scale surveys within the boundaries of the five west coast National Marine Sanctuaries. A secondary objective was to characterize the pelagic ecosystem within the study area, through the collection of underway and station-based biological and oceanographic data, seabird studies, and acoustic sampling. A final objective was to conduct biopsy sampling and photo-identification studies of marine mammal species of special interest.

Beach COMBERS - Coastal Ocean Mammal and Bird Education and Research Surveys (Project Leader: Hannah Nevins, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories). In 1997 the MBNMS began a beach survey program using trained volunteers to survey beached marine birds and mammals monthly at selected sections of beaches throughout the Monterey Bay area. Currently, the program monitors 45 km of beaches in the MBNMS. The program is a collaborative project between MLML, MBNMS, and other state and research institutions, with the specific goal of using deposition of beach cast carcasses as an index of the health of the sanctuary. The Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program Network is notified of all stranded or dead cetaceans so that data can be collected and the cause of the stranding event determined

State
General:

This species is fully protected under the Fish and Game Code (§4700), which means that this species cannot be taken or possessed in California without a permit form the Fish and Game Commission. However, this status does not require that the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) have programs to support research, management and recovery of this species. Under the MMPA, CDFG is required to decrease or eliminate negative impacts of state managed fisheries on right whales. Currently, no state-managed fisheries are known to have a negative impact on this species.

Other
General:

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the North Pacific right whale as “Endangered”. This species is listed under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which includes species threatened with extinction and prevents trade of Appendix I species except in exceptional circumstances. In addition, this species is listed under Appendix I of the North American Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), which includes migratory species that have been categorized as being in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which was signed in Washington D.C. on December 2, 1946. The purpose of the Convention is to provide for the conservation of whale stocks and the development of the whaling industry. The IWC has prohibited the taking of right whales in the North Pacific since 1946. Currently, the IWC has 57 member nations and all current members have agreed to uphold the prohibition on take of right whales. However, Article VIII of the 1946 Convention gives member states the right to issue scientific permits, which allow take for research purposes. In the 1950s and 1960s both Japan and the Soviet Union took North Pacific right whales under scientific permits (23 animals).11 In addition, the USSR illegally caught several hundred right whales in the eastern North Pacific in the 1960s.7

In 2003, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada completed a draft recovery strategy and action plan for Right Whales in Pacific Canadian waters. The key recommended actions included: collecting baseline data on occurrence, distribution and habitat; conducting long-term monitoring of the status of North Pacific right whales; obtaining better information on potential threats in Canadian waters; and evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. Until recently, research on the North Pacific right whale was absent on the Pacific coast of Canada. Starting in 2003, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans began conducting acoustically-aided surveys and passive monitoring to examine the potential occurrence of North Pacific right whales in areas formerly occupied off the coast of British Columbia.

MBNMS:

CIMT - Center for Integrated Marine Technologies: Wind to Whales (Contact: Andrew DeVogelaere, MBNMS). The Monterey Bay - from Pt. Año Nuevo to Pt. Lobos and out to 122°05' west longitude - is the focal region of the CIMT Wind to Whales Program. This project, which began in 1997, is an interdisciplinary collaborative research project involving scientists and engineers from UCSC, NMFS, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing Marine Labs, MBNMS, and Naval Postgraduate School. CIMT uses data collected via remote sensing, moorings and ship-board surveys to investigate linkages between coastal upwelling, nutrient delivery, spatial and temporal variability in phytoplankton, and the distribution and abundance of organisms at higher trophic levels including squid, fishes, seabirds, sea turtles, pinnipeds, and whales. Monthly ship-board surveys and a bottom-mounted passive acoustic mooring system have the potential to detect right whales in this area.

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Research Gaps
MBNMS:

The low abundance of this species in the North Pacific makes research difficult and expensive. In addition to conducting research dedicated to this species in areas of predictable occurrence, researchers studying other marine mammals and birds should be coordinated to collect data (e.g., distribution, abundance, photographs, behavior, genetic samples, etc.) from any right whale sighted in the North Pacific. In addition, the following general cetacean research programs could provide data on North Pacific right whales:

  • Systematic, MBNMS-wide aerial surveys to determine distribution and abundance of large whales in Sanctuary waters. Although such surveys would not be targeting North Pacific right whales specifically, they may aid in documenting additional rare sighting.
  • Deploy multiple remote acoustical recording packages to detect the presence of different species of cetaceans in the Sanctuary and determine seasonality of movement through the area.
  • Determine the impacts to cetaceans of various types of acoustic disturbance that occur in the MBNMS, including noise from ships, boats, aircraft, and research, military and industrial activities.24,25
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Recommended Actions
General:
  • Support a continued international ban on commercial hunting and other directed lethal take. Support efforts to detect and prevent illegal whaling and to prevent take for scientific research.
MBNMS:
  • Maintain and improve the current system for reporting and responding to stranded or entangled marine mammals. Evaluate cause of stranding or entanglement and evaluate if actions can be taken to reduce probability of future strandings or entanglements.
  • If certain acoustical disturbances are found to negatively impact cetaceans, work to minimize those activities in the MBNMS.
  • Reduce or eliminate marine debris in MBNMS including old abandoned fishing gear, which is an entanglement hazard for this species.26

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Cited References  
1. National Marine Fisheries Service (1991) Recovery plan for the Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis). Prepared by the Right Whale Recovery Team for the National Marine Fisheries Service, Silver Spring, Maryland. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/recovery/plans.htm
2. Angliss RP, Outlaw R (2005) Draft Alaska Marine Mammal Stock Assessments 2005. Alaska Fisheries Science Center, U.S. Department of Commerce. http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/sars/region.htm
3. Clapham P, Good C, Quinn S, Reeves RR, Scarff JE, Brownell RL Jr (2004) Distribution of North Pacific right whales (Eubalaena japonica) as shown by 19th and 20th century whaling catch and sighting records. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 6:1-6.
4. Scarff JE (1986) Historic and present distribution of the right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Eastern North Pacific South of 50° North and East of 180° West. Report to the International Whaling Commission Special Issue 10:43-63.
5. COSEWIC (2004) COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the North Pacific right whale Eubalaena japonica in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vi + 22 pp. http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/status_e.cfm
6. Shelden KEW, Moore SE, Waite JM, Wade PR, Rugh DJ (2005) Historic and current habitat use by North Pacific right whales Eubalaena japonica in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Mammal Review 35:129-155.
7. Brownell RL, Jr., Clapham PJ, Miyashita T, Kasuya T (2001) Conservation status of North Pacific right whales. Journal of Cetacean Research & Management (Special Issue) 2:269-286. http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/psb/pubs/nprights.pdf
8. Phillip Clapham, Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammals Laboratory, personal communication
9. Munger L, Moore S, Hildebrand J, Wiggins S, McDonald M (2003) Calls of North Pacific right whales recorded in the southeast Bering Sea. Abstract in Marine Science in the Northeast Pacific: Science for Resource Dependent Communities, Session EVOS/NPRB-4: Birds and Mammals, Joint Scientific Symposium. Anchorage, AK, 13-17 January 2003. http://nmml.afsc.noaa.gov/CetaceanAssessment/right/righttagbkgrd.htm
10. Braham HW, Rice DW (1984) The right whale, Balaena glacialis. Marine Fisheries Review 46:38-44.
11. National Marine Fisheries Service (November 2, 2005) Endangered and Threatened Species; Revision of Critical Habitat for Northern Right Whales in the Pacific Ocean. Federal Register Vol. 70, No. 211:66332-66346. http://www.fakr.noaa.gov/protectedresources/whales/nright/rule/proposedrule.pdf
12. Jay Barlow, NOAA, Southwest Fisheries Science Center, personal communication
13. Goddard PD, Rugh DJ (1998) A group of right whales seen in the Bering Sea in July 1996. Marine Mammal Science 14:344-349.
14. North Pacific Right Whale Recovery Team (NPRWRT) (2004) National Recovery Strategy for the North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica) in Pacific Canadian waters. Vancouver, British Columbia. Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO). 48 pages. http://www-comm.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pages/consultations/rightwhale/default_e.htm
15. Hamilton PK, Knowlton AR, Marx MK, Kraus SD (1988) Age structure and longevity in North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) and their relation to reproduction. Marine Ecology Progress Series 171:285-292.
16. MMC website http://www.mmc.gov/species/npacrightwhale.html
17. Center for Biological Diversity (2000) Petition to revise the critical habitat designation for the Northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) under the Endangered Species Act. Berkeley, CA. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/species/right/petition.PDF
18. Laist DW, Knowlton AR, Mead JG, Collet AS, Podesta M (2001) Collisions between ships and whales. Marine Mammal Science 17:35-75. http://www.mmc.gov/articles/pdf/shipstrike.pdf
19. Kornev, SI (1994) A note on the death of a right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) off Cape Lopatka (Kamchatka). Report of the International Whaling Commission (special issue) 15:443-444.
20. National Research Council (2005) Marine Mammal Populations and Ocean Noise: Determining When Noise Causes Biologically Significant Effects. Committee on Characterizing Biologically Significant Marine Mammal Behavior. National Academies Press, Washington, DC. 142 pages. http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11147.html
21. Barlow J, Cameron GA (2003) Field experiments show that acoustic pingers reduce marine mammal bycatch in the California drift gill net fishery. Marine Mammal Science 19:265-283.
22. National Marine Fisheries Service (February 20, 2002) Endangered and Threatened Species; Determination on a Petition to Revise Critical Habitat for Northern Right Whales in the Pacific. Federal Register Vol. 67, No. 34:7660-7665. http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-SPECIES/2002/February/Day-20/e4087.htm
23. CBD website http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/swcbd/press/whale10-25-04.html
24. Addressed in part by JMPR Wildlife Disturbance Issues - Marine Mammal, Seabird and Turtle Disturbance Action Plan: Low Flying Aircraft Disturbance Strategy. Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Proposed Action Plans. Draft report. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/drafts/mb_mp.html
25. Addressed in part by JMPR Wildlife Disturbance Issues - Marine Mammal, Seabird and Turtle Disturbance Action Plan: Acoustic Disturbance Strategy. Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Proposed Action Plans. Draft report. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/drafts/mb_mp.html
26. Addressed in part by JMPR Wildlife Disturbance Issues - Marine Mammal, Seabird and Turtle Disturbance Action Plan: Marine Debris Strategy. Joint Management Plan Review (JMPR). Proposed Action Plans. Draft report. Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/jointplan/drafts/mb_mp.html
27. Gilmore RM (1956) Rare right whale visits California. Pacific Discovery 9(4): 20-25.
28. Woodhouse CD, Strickley J (1982) Sighting of northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the Santa Barbara channel. Journal of Mammalogy 63(4): 701-702.
29. Fiscus CH, Niggol K (1965) Observations of cetaceans off California, Oregon, and Washington. US Fish and Wildlife Service, Special Scientific Report, Fisheries No. 498. 27 pages.
30. Johnson T (1982) A survivor at sea. Oceans 15(5): 52.
31. Scarff JE (2001) Preliminary estimates of whaling-induced mortality in the 19th century North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena japonicus) fishery, adjusting for struck-but-lost whales and non-American whaling. Journal of Cetacean Research & Management Special Issue Special Issue 2:261-268.
32. Carretta J, Lynn M, LeDuc C (1994) Right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) sighting off San Clemente Island, California. Marine Mammal Science 10:101-105.
33. Rowlett RA, Green GA, Bowlby CE, Smultea MA (1994) The first photographic documentation of a northern right whale off Washington State. Northwestern Naturalist 75: 102-104.
34. Gendron D, Lanham S, Carwardine M (1999) North Pacific right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) sighting South of Baja California. Aquatic Mammals 25:31-34.
35. Evans K (1998) Endangered right whale sighted in sanctuary. News from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (Spring 1998).
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References and Resources
Click here for images, reports, and links to other websites for this species.

Acknowledgement of Reviewers

Thank you to Karin Forney and Phillip Clapham for reviewing this report and providing helpful comments and corrections.



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