Chapter

Whales, Whaling, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean

PHILLIP J. CLAPHAM and JASON S. LINK

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/9780520248847.003.0024
Whales, Whaling, and Ecosystems in the North Atlantic Ocean

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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

Chapter.  8013 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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