U.S. Department of Commerce


Date of this Version



Published in MARINE MAMMAL SCIENCE (2006), 22(3): 708–713; DOI: 10.1111/j.1748-7692.2006.00054.x


Blue whales have been sighted throughout the North Pacific Ocean (Mizroch et al. 1984), and were harvested around the Pacific Rim from Mexico to Japan (Fig. 1). The International Whaling Commission (IWC) currently recognizes only one stock of blue whales in the North Pacific (Donovan 1991); however, there may be up to five (reviewed in Stafford 2003). While past shipboard and aerial surveys in the Aleutian Island chain found no blue whales (Rice and Wolman 1982, Stewart et al. 1987), their contemporary presence in this area has been well documented by acoustic monitoring (Watkins et al. 2000, Stafford et al. 2001). In this note we present the results of a shipboard survey during which blue whales were seen south of the Aleutian Islands and recordings of blue whale vocalizations were obtained.