Letter | Published:

The Stock of Whales

Nature volume 162, page 148 (24 July 1948) | Download Citation



IN an article on the "Effect of Present-day Whaling on the Stock of Whales"1, Dr. Hamilton points out that in spite of a ‘rest' during the War, the Antarctic catch of blue whales in 1945–46 showed a scarcity of the largest animals, a reduced proportion of this species (30.7 per cent) in the total catch, and a reduced percentage of mature females which were pregnant ; and he infers that the stock of blue whales is showing clear signs of reduction. Among other matters he points out that the limit of 16,000 ‘blue whale units' allows the killing of many more than 16,000 Whales. Although in agreement with much of what Dr. Hamilton says, I think it should be noted that the figures for the subsequent season of 1946–47 show that blue whales were taken in relatively larger numbers, and formed about 38·5 per cent of the catch. Although this is still not very high, and gives no grounds for complacency, it is a distinct improvement on 1945–46.

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  1. 1.

    Nature, 161, 913 (1948).

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  1. "Discovery" Investigations, Queen Anne‘s Chambers, London, S.W.1.



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