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Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems$
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James Estes

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248847

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248847.001.0001

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Whales, Whaling, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean

Whales, Whaling, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean

(p.314) Twenty-Four Whales, Whaling, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean
Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems



University of California Press

To explore further the past, current, and changing roles of large whales in the North Atlantic ecosystem, this chapter briefly reviews the history of whaling in this region and the status of the exploited species. It presents case studies to contrast the exploitation history and subsequent recovery status of three species (Atlantic gray whale, North Atlantic right whale, and humpback whale) with differing ecological roles and life histories. The basic tenet is that, even if the functional role of whales and their interaction with other species does not fundamentally change, changing the abundance of whales does alter the relative magnitude of these roles and interactions, thus ultimately altering the relative importance whales may have in an ecosystem.

Keywords:   large whales, North Atlantic ecosystem, whaling history, Atlantic gray whale, North Atlantic right whale, humpback whale

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