From: Andy Coghlan, NewScientist
Published May 13, 2009 09:04 AM

Migrating blue whales rediscover 'forgotten' waters

Blue whales have begun reappearing in Pacific waters off the coast of Canada and Alaska for the first time since whaling ceased in 1965.

Fifteen of the world's largest creatures have visited the waters off British Columbia and Alaska since 1997, and four of them were individuals also photographed in Californian waters.

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Whalers formerly caught hundreds of blue whales in the northern zones, landing 1300 between 1908 and 1965. Yet despite the ban, they seemed not to recover there, suggesting to some researchers that the cultural knowledge of the area had been lost.

By contrast, large numbers of blue whales began collecting off California in the 1970s. Since the 1990s, though, their numbers have begun dwindling off California — the increased sightings to the north suggest they may be migrating there instead.

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