Dear Marmam and ECS-listserve subscribers,
Apologies to those of you who will receive duplicate emails due to 
cross-posting.  The International Whaling Commission (IWC) publishes The 
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management thrice yearly (Spring, Autumn, and 
Winter), with at least one supplement that will contain the full report of the 
IWC Scientific Committee. The following is posted on behalf of the IWC and the 
journal editor.
Further information can be found at: A guide for authors is included 
in the first volume of each issue and on the IWC website: 
Please do not contact me or the listserve editors for pdfs. Email addresses are 
provided for the corresponding authors.
With regards,
Dagmar Fertl
Ziphius EcoServices
Punt, A.E. 2008. A note on the modelling of MSY-related parameters when 
population dynamics are stochastic. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 
Contact email:
A method is outlined for calculating the values for the parameters which 
determine MSYR and MSYL in the types of population dynamics models on which 
Implementation Simulation Trials and Evaluation Trials are based in the face of 
environmental variability in fecundity (birth rate) and survival. The method is 
illustrated using a minke whale-like biology in which MSYR is defined in terms 
harvesting of the mature female component of the population. Results are shown 
for various levels of environmental variation in survival and fecundity.
Aldrin, M., R. Bang Huseby, and T. Schweder. 2008. A note on tuning the Catch 
Limit Algorithm for commercial baleen whaling. Journal of Cetacean Research and 
Management 10(3):191-194.
Contact email:
The Catch Limit Algorithm for commercial baleen whaling developed by the 
International Whaling Commission converges slowly to a steady depletion 
(proportion of carrying capacity), and consequently 300 years of management is 
proposed as horizon for tuning and computer simulation. Long-term depletion is 
rather insensitive to the parameter currently used for tuning, and an 
alternative control parameter is suggested for this purpose.
Rugh, D.J.*, W.R. Koski, J.C. George, and J.E. Zeh. 2008. Interyear 
re-identifications of bowhead whales during their spring migration past Point 
Barrow, Alaska, 1984-1994. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 
*contact email:
As a part of a review of bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) stocks, a study was 
conducted to evaluate how much mixing occurs in the whales’ spring migration, a 
period which immediately follows the mating season. This study has used aerial 
photography of bowhead whales during their spring migration near Point Barrow, 
which has resulted in 5,800 images, primarily from 1984 through 1994. These 
photographs included 40 different whales seen in at least two years, and of 
these, two were seen in three different years, making for a pair-wise sample 
size of 42 matches between years. Differences between dates of initial 
sightings and subsequent sightings (i.e. resightings) ranged from -31 to +23 
days comparing month and day only, irrespective of year. These resightings were 
well dispersed across most of the bowhead spring migration; 98% of the 
photographs were taken across 45 days from 19 April through 2 June. Models for 
predicting resighting date from initial sighting date, whale length, presence 
of a calf, year of initial sighting and year of subsequent sightings were 
considered, and the best model was chosen using Akaike’s Information Criterion 
(AIC). The best model included most predictors but did not include initial 
sighting date. Thus, all of the available evidence indicates that individual 
mature bowheads do not have a consistent migration timing past Barrow; instead, 
in subsequent years they may appear on almost any date within the normal 
migratory period. This wide mixing and near-random distribution of resighting 
dates throughout the spring migration is indicative of a single stock of whales 
that have a somewhat plastic schedule.
Lowry, L.F., K.J. Frost, A. Zerbini, D. DeMaster, and R.R. Reeves. 2008. Trend 
in aerial counts of beluga or white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in Bristol 
Bay, Alaska, 1993-2005. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 
Contact email:
Thirty-eight aerial surveys of beluga or white whales (Delphinapterus leucas) 
were conducted in Bristol Bay, Alaska, during six different years between 1993 
and 2005. Belugas were sighted mainly close to shore in the upper parts of 
Nushagak and Kvichak bays, as well as along the coast between these bays and in 
the lower parts of major rivers. Data from 28 complete counts made in good or 
excellent survey conditions were analysed for trend. Counts ranged from 264 to 
1,067. The estimated rate of increase over the 12-year period was 4.8%/year 
(95% CI = 2.1%-7.5%). Such a rate of increase suggests that either the 
population was below the environmental carrying capacity in the early 1990s or, 
alternatively, that factors that had been limiting population increase were 
alleviated after that time. A review of possible changes in human-caused 
mortality, predation and prey availability did not reveal a single likely cause 
of the increase. Among the factors that could have played a role are recovery 
from research kills in the 1960s, a modest decline in subsistence removals and 
a delayed response to increases in Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) abundance 
in the 1980s. The positive growth rate for this population shows that in recent 
years there has been no substantial negative impact of human or natural 
factors, acting either alone or in combination, and there is no need for 
changes to the current management regime.
Afsal, V.V., K.S.S.M. Yousuf, B. Anoop, A.K. Anoop, P. Kannan, M. Rajagopalan, 
and E. Vivekanandan. 2008. A note on cetacean distribution in the Indian EEZ 
and contiguous seas during 2003-07. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 
Contact email:
Relatively little is known about the distribution of cetaceans in Indian seas 
due to lack of systematic surveys. For collecting data on species distribution, 
35 opportunistic surveys were conducted onboard FORV Sagar Sampada between 
October 2003 and February 2007 in the Indian EEZ and contiguous seas. In 5,254 
hours of sighting effort, a total of 473 cetacean records were made with 5,865 
individuals. The
occurrence of 10 species from three cetacean families was confirmed. The 
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin was the most frequently sighted species, 
whereas the spinner dolphin was dominant in terms of abundance. Long-beaked 
common dolphins, Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphin and sperm whales were also 
recorded at frequent intervals. Cetaceans were found to have a wide 
geographical distribution in the Indian EEZ and contiguous seas. High abundance 
and species richness were recorded in the Southeastern Arabian Sea and southern 
Sri Lankan waters. From the information collected during the present study, the 
platform of opportunity has proved to be a useful means for cetacean survey.
Palka, D.L.*, M.C. Rossman, A.S. VanAtten, and C.D. Orphanides. 2008. Effect of 
pingers on harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) bycatch in the US Northeast 
gillnet fishery. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 10(3):217–226.
Contact email:
Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) bycatch in the US Northeast gillnet 
fishery is managed under the Harbour Porpoise Take Reduction Plan (HPTRP), 
which was implemented on 1 January 1999. The HPTRP divides this fishery into 
management areas that are either completely closed to all gillnets or closed 
only to gillnets that do not use pingers. Questions about pingers that have 
arisen include: (1) would pingers be as effective in an operational fishery as 
in controlled scientific experiments; (2) would the fishery comply with these 
regulations; and (3) would harbour porpoises habituate to pingers? To 
investigate these questions, data from over 25,000 gillnet hauls observed by 
the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program after the implementation of the HPTRP, 
1999-2007, were examined. In a 1994 controlled scientific experiment conducted 
in part of this fishery that used 15cm mesh gillnets, the bycatch rate in 
pingered nets was 92% less than that in nets without pingers. In contrast, in 
the operational fishery, the bycatch reduction in pingered nets was 50-70%, 
depending on the time, area and mesh size. In particular, there was no observed 
bycatch in pingered nets that used the same mesh size as used in the 
experiment. Thus, it seem that the apparent decrease in pinger effectiveness in 
the operational fishery was partially due to the type of gillnet used and lack 
of compliance. Pinger usage started out high in 1999 (the first year required), 
dropped substantially during 2003-05 and perhaps due to outreach activities 
increased beginning in 2006. During years of high pinger usage, 87% of the 
tested pingers were functional, while only 36% of the tested pingers were 
functional during years of low pinger usage. In general, as expected, observed 
bycatch rates in hauls without pingers were greater than bycatch rates in hauls 
with the required number of pingers. Unexpectedly, bycatch rates of observed 
hauls with an incomplete set of pingers were higher that in observed hauls 
without pingers. Confounding factors that could partially explain this 
apparently contrary result are discussed. There was no evidence for temporal 
trends in the bycatch rates, suggesting that harbour porpoises had not 
habituated to the pingers. In conclusion, in the US Northeast gillnet fishery, 
harbour porpoises do not appear to have habituated to pingers, and pingers 
appear to have reduced the bycatch rate, particularly when the required number 
of pingers were used and in nets using mesh sizes of 15cm or less.
Berrow, S., R. Cosgrove, R.H. Leeney, J. O’Brien, D. McGrath, J. Dalgard, and 
Y. Le Gall. 2008. Effect of acoustic deterrents on the behaviour of common 
dolphins (Delphinus delphis). Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 
Contact email:
Not all delphinids are similarly affected by acoustic deterrent devices 
(pingers). At-sea trials were carried out to assess a range of acoustic signals 
and deterrents on the behaviour of common dolphins. In initial tests two 
acoustic deterrent devices, which previously produced an evasive response by 
bottlenose dolphins, failed to elicit any similar behaviour in common dolphins. 
A new signal output device, which permitted a range of signals to be tested at 
various source levels and characteristics was subsequently developed but again 
no significant effects on the behaviour of common dolphins were observed. Two 
commercially available acoustic deterrents, which had deterred common dolphins 
in previous studies, produced an occasional mild evasive response. Significant 
modification of the signal type or source level may be more effective, but our 
results suggest that pingers, at their current state of development, may not 
provide a consistently effective deterrent signal for common dolphins.
Trippel, E.A.*, N.L. Holy and T.D. Shepherd. 2008. Barium sulphate modified 
fishing gear as a mitigative measure for cetacean incidental mortalities. 
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 10(3):235-246.
Contact email:
Incidental mortality from entanglements in fishing gear in threatening cetacean 
populations worldwide. In eastern Canadian waters, entanglement deaths of the 
critically endangered transboundary North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena 
glacialis) are a key conservation concern and incidental mortalities of harbour 
porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in gillnets are a major source of mortality. Since 
the 1990s, a number of mitigation techniques to reduce mortalities in both 
species have been tested and the use of some in the US commercial fishery have 
been legislated. Despite this, the North Atlantic right whale population 
remains in a precarious state and entanglement deaths of harbour porpoise have 
been increasing in recent years. Further, mitigation devices, such as acoustic 
alarms, carry with them concerns about habituation, noise pollution, 
maintenance requirements and cost. The modifying of the physical 
characteristics of commercial fishing gear has shown some promise at reducing 
entanglement mortalities in initial testing while avoiding many of the 
drawbacks of other mitigation methods. In this study the current state of 
development and effectiveness of mitigation techniques through the addition of 
barium sulphate to fishing gear rope and twine was investigated. The 
development of neutrally buoyant groundline, through the addition of barium 
sulphate, was undertaken in order to reduce the probability of large whale 
entanglement in lobster pot gear. The resulting product maintained a much lower 
profile in the water column relative to traditional polypropylene groundline, 
however, it was found unsuitable for hard-bottom areas as it was susceptible to 
chaffing and breaking. In order to reduce mortalities once large whales are 
entangled, a weak rope was developed again with the addition of barium 
sulphate. The breaking strength of this product was found to be 1,065 lb, which 
meets the US legislated limits (1,100 lb), as opposed to traditional 
polypropylene rope which had a breaking strength of over 2,400 lb. To meet the 
challenge of harbour porpoise entanglements, a gillnet twine was developed to 
have an increased acoustic profile and a more stiff form through the addition 
of barium sulphate. In field testing trials, the barium sulphate modified 
gillnets reduced harbour porpoise bycatch and the minimal effects on targeted 
groundfishes. Although they are in an early state of development, barium 
sulphate modified fishing gear shows promise at reducing entanglement deaths of 
Reeves, R.R.*, T.D. Smith, and E.A. Josephson. 2008. Observations of western 
gray whales by ship-based whalers in the 19th century. Journal of Cetacean 
Research and Management 10(3):247-256.
Contact email:
Animals belonging to the small, endangered population of western gray whales 
(Eschrichtius robustus) are observed today primarily during the summer 
open-water season in feeding areas off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin 
Island, Russia. The migration route(s) and wintering area(s) used by this 
population are largely unknown. Gray whales once had a fairly extensive 
distribution in the Sea of Okhotsk but little detailed information has been 
published on when and where they occurred. Open-boat, ship-based whalers from 
the United States and a few other countries conducted an intensive hunt for 
bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and North Pacific right whales (Eubalaena 
japonica) in the Sea of Okhotsk from the 1840s to 1970s. According to entries 
in voyage logbooks, the American whalers regularly encountered (and sometimes 
hunted) gray whales in the far northeastern corner of the Okhotsk Sea 
(Shelikhov Bay, Gizhiginskaya Bay and Penzhinskaya Gulf) between early May-late 
August. They also observed gray whales in summer along the northern coast of 
the sea (especially Tauskaya Bay), around the Shantar Islands, in Sakhalin Bay, 
off Cape Elizabeth at the northern tip of Sakhalin Island and along the west 
coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. No evidence was found in the logbooks studied 
of gray whales (and indeed of whaling effort) off northeastern Sakhalin Island 
where most observations of gray whales occur in the present day.

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