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WHAT IS THE BLUE WHALE?


The Blue Whale is extremely rare and was first placed on the endangered species list on June 2, 1970. They are severely depleted in all of the worlds oceans because of overfishing. Their meat, fat, oil and bones are used for many things. In recent years their numbers in the pacific and the North Atlantic have begun to increase by approximately 5.1 percent.



The numbers for this animal are not exactly known. But there are probably about 500 in both the southern and northern hemispheres respectively. They can grow to a maximum length of 30 meters and 135 metric tons in weight. Their body color is bluish-grey which is where they get their name from. Their bodies are also covered by light grey and white spots. They feed on the surface of the ocean on the krill in the Southern Oceans and the small-sized schooling fish in the Northern Hemisphere. Their gestation period is approximately 12 months in length and females give birth to 2 to 3 calves 7 to 8 meters in length.














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Their numbers in the wild were continually depleted until 1966 when the International Whaling Commission banned their fishing. The principal cause of the decline in blue whales was commercial whaling, and prohibitions on their harvest by IWC have reduced the magnitude of the threat. No activities in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States are known to be adversely affecting recovery of this species at the present time. Through interagency coordination under Section 7 of the ESA, the species is protected from Federal actions that are likely to jeopardize the species.

 

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