U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE, 15(1):210-220 (January 1999).


The known summer feeding range of the North Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) extends from California, along the coasts of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, into the Bering Sea, along the Aleutian Islands, the Sea of Okhotsk (Tomilin 1957), and to northern Japan (Rice 1977). In feeding areas of the northeastern Pacific Ocean, humpback whale photoidentification research has been concentrated off California (Calambokidis et al. 1993), southeastern Alaska (Darling and McSweeney 1985, Baker et al. 1986, 1992; Perry et al. 1990), Prince William Sound in Alaska (von Ziegesar 1992), the Oregon and Washington coasts (Calambokidis et al. 1993), and British Columbia (Darling and McSweeney 1985; Graerne Ellis, unpublished data). Results of these photoidentification studies have documented that individual whales tend to return to the same general areas in subsequent years (Darling and McSweeney 1985, Baker et al. 1986, Calambokidis et a(. 1996, von Ziegesar et al. 1994).