Balaenoptera acutorostrata

Range & Status

Within the last decade, a species distinction has been made between the Common Minke Whale and the Antarctic Minke Whale Balaenoptera bonaerensis . Currently, the accepted convention is to regard B. acutorostrata as consisting of two, and possibly three, subspecies: the North Atlantic subpopulation, B. a. acutorostrata ; the North Pacific subpopulation, B. a. scammoni (= davidsoni ); and the ' dwarf' Minke Whale, B. a. subsp., which is found in parts of the Southern Ocean (Rice, 1998). The North Atlantic population is widely distributed and relatively abundant. It is estimated that there are approximately 182,000 Minke Whales in this area. However, this stock has been reduced by whaling to an estimated 45-70% of its pre-exploitation level of abundance and it continues to be hunted commercially. (Reilly et al ., 2008a).

Strandings

24 strandings in the region: 1916 (1), 1918 (1), 1926 (1), 1928 (1), 1947 (1), 1948 (1),

1950 (1), 1972 (1), 1997 (1), 1998 (1), 1999 (2), 2000 (3), 2001 (2), 2002 (2), 2003 (2), 2006 (1), 2007 (1).

Sightings

1996 (1), 1997 (2), 1998 (5), 1999 (7), 2000 (4), 2001 (37), 2002 (12), 2003 (12), 2004 (13), 2005 (17), 2006 (13), 2008 (37).

Conservation

The species is listed as Least Concern. (Reilly et al ., 2008a. Balaenoptera acutorostrata . In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 18 March 2009.) A UK Biodiversity Grouped Plan species.