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Deaths and Entanglements of Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Main Hawaiian Islands, 1972-1996

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Title: Deaths and Entanglements of Humpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the Main Hawaiian Islands, 1972-1996
Authors: Mazzuca, L.
Atkinson, S.
Nitta, E.
Issue Date: Jan 1998
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press
Citation: Mazzuca L, Atkinson S, Nitta E. 1998. Deaths and entanglements of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, in the main Hawaiian Islands, 1972-1996. Pac Sci 52(1): 1-13.
Abstract: Reports of humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, that
either died or were entangled in Hawaiian waters from 1972 through October
1996 were analyzed to determine age class (estimated from body length and/or
notes), location, annual frequency, and seasonal distribution of occurrence.
Using reports collected from the National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific
Area Office and published news reports, 26 whales were identified and their
records analyzed. Deaths and entanglements were predominantly of calves of
the year. Greatest incidence of deaths and entanglements occurred off the
islands of Hawai'i, Maui, and O'ahu during the month of February. Of the 26
reported cases, 19 animals were confirmed dead. In the majority of the cases
cause of death was unknown. However, shark attacks appear to be a secondary
cause of death subsequent to entanglement, perinatal death, calf abandonment,
illness, or unknown causes. The annual frequency of occurrence over the 25-yr
period indicates an increasing trend of entanglement in natural fiber and synthetic
lines since 1992 and a three-fold increase in death and entanglement
occurrences related to human activity in 1996.
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1553
ISSN: 0030-8870
Appears in Collections:Pacific Science Volume 52, Number 1, 1998



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