Researchers have reported that the number of California blue whales have reached sustainable levels. Over the past few years, scientists had reported very low numbers, which they attributed to the ravages of whaling. At the moment, the available numbers are estimated to be around 2,200, mostly on the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean.
However, the environmentalists are very much concerned about the risk which the whales face, especially being hit by ships that use the waters.
Blue whales are the earth’s largest animals, and may measure up to 33meters long and with a weight of up to 190 tones. The type of whales found in California is mostly seen on the shores feeding, but they can be spotted starting from the Gulf of Alaska downwards to Costa Rica.
Reporting their findings in the Marine Mammal Science journal, the scientists who are from the University of Washington have reiterated that the current population of the California blue whales is now at their 97% of what used to be their historical levels.
“What we have found here is that they are close to recovery which is somehow surprising,” said Dr Tevor Branch from the University of Washington. We had to apply some scientific sleuthing to discover that the numbers of the whales are back to their original levels.
In the past, nations that practiced whale hunting restricted their efforts on the Antarctica which has colder waters. Most of the hunting was carried out by fleets from Russia.
However, most of the figures that were captured remained under wraps because the soviet regime always preferred a secret way of conducting its affairs.
In normal scenarios, there are two types of whales: the blue variety that is mostly found in California and Costa Rica and others that inhabit the waters of Japan and Russia.
The scientists said that the tried to separate the whales into west and east, but they were not able to achieve anything as they didn’t know about the boundary.
However, the scientists finally separated the whale groups depending on how they sung. Being able to determine the numbers that were lost through whaling, the environmental researchers were able to work out the mathematical historical figures.
However, at 97% of their optimal numbers, the researchers now fully believe that this capacity can well be supported by the ocean system, which is something that any environmentalist can be proud of.