Chapter

Changes in Marine Mammal Biomass in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Region before and after the Period of Commercial Whaling

BETE PFISTER and DOUGLAS P. DEMASTER

in Whales, Whaling, and Ocean Ecosystems

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248847
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933200 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248847.003.0010
Changes in Marine Mammal Biomass in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands Region before and after the Period of Commercial Whaling

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A basic understanding of pre-commercial harvest and current abundance of marine mammals is critical before trophic effects can be evaluated. This chapter provides such a foundation to facilitate further evaluation of the nature and magnitude of the impacts of commercial whaling on the North Pacific ecosystem. It considers two factors when addressing this question. First, it is necessary to account for seasonal changes in biomass. Second, some species of marine mammals have age- or sex-specific migratory patterns that must also be accounted for when evaluating the effects of commercial whaling on the marine mammal community in the North Pacific. This chapter documents the overall change in marine mammal biomass of one ecosystem, the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands region, from the onset of commercial harvesting of large whales and pinnipeds to the present.

Keywords: pre-commercial harvest; marine animals; North Pacific ecosystem; biomass; migratory patterns

Chapter.  13507 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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