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Management of Antarctic baleen whales amid past exploitation, current threats and complex marine ecosystems


Leaper, R and Miller, C, Management of Antarctic baleen whales amid past exploitation, current threats and complex marine ecosystems, Antarctic Science, 23, (6) pp. 503-529. ISSN 1365-2079 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2011 Cambridge University Press

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0954102011000708


As baleen whales recover from severe exploitation, they are probably subject to a wide variety of threats within the Antarctic marine ecosystem, including directed take. Here we review both the management and current status of Antarctic baleen whales and consider those threats likely to impact on them. Threats range from global problems - marine pollution and climate change - to localized issues including shipping, habitat disturbance, unregulated wildlife tourism and fishery activities. We identify the most pressing anthropogenic threats to baleen whales including scientific whaling and climate change. It is unclear whether current management approaches will be able to effectively encompass all these threats while also accounting both for the differing levels of scientific understanding and for the differing recovery rates of the whale species. For management we recommend the following: 1) incorporation of both ecosystem considerations and the suite of identified threats not limited to direct take, 2) identification of measurable indicators of changes in whales that allow more certainty in monitoring of populations and the environment, and 3) recognition of significant relationships between baleen whales and habitat features to provide information on distribution and use.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cetaceans, marine ecosystem management, recovery, Southern Ocean
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Objective Field:Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Leaper, R (Dr Rebecca Leaper)
ID Code:74002
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:32
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2011-11-07
Last Modified:2012-07-06
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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