14 Jun 2014

30 years for humpbacks to recover

1:57 pm on 14 June 2014

A new report from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) shows it could take another three decades before the humpback whale population recovers.

Large-scale whaling in the 1960s saw the population of humpbacks in the South Pacific fall from 14,000 whales to less than 1 percent of that in 1966.

Since then, the estimated population has increased slowly to about 5,000 or 37 percent of its pre-hunting number.

The IWC said given the rate of increase, it may be another thirty years before the population has recovered. Another population study will take place in 2016.