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Authors

Vildana Hajric

Abstract

Australian Humpback Whales have been harvested since the late 1700’s, helping to spur the country’s first primary industry. Such continual hunting of the species diminished its stock to near-extinction, forcing the International Whaling Commission to create a ban on commercial whaling of humpbacks in the 1960’s. However, countries such as Japan and Norway that depend on whaling as an integral part of their meat industries and cultural traditions have commenced whaling under the guise of scientific research. This paper aims to calculate humpback whale population growth rates of the eastern Australian area V stock using survivorship and fecundity rates of different classes within the group. Furthermore, it aims to show that scientific whaling has a negative effect on population growth rates, helping to diminish the stock’s population numbers. Lastly, the paper gives recommendations for future recovery plans that could potentially ensure that the area V humpback population increases with time.

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