Total

1,060,000

45,675,000

190,000,000

13,140,000

4,400,000

a Modified from May (1979).

b See Table 10.2 for current whale population estimates.

These continuous shifts in the target species and the progressive depletion of each stock (Fig. 10.3), except the new minke whale target, demonstrate that all whale fisheries have collapsed. This pattern of whale overexploitation occurred despite the regulatory strategies developed by the International Whaling Commission since its inception in 1946. These historical perspectives are strong evidence for the lack of human restraint in harvesting whales, with their extremely slow population turnover rates, to sustain any whale fishery now or in the future.

Combined, Antarctic whale stocks have been reduced by more than 80% (Tables 10.1 and 10.2). While the actual numbers may vary between estimates, there is agreement that the humpback and blue whale populations have been hit hardest, with stock sizes that have been diminished by over 95%.

TABLE 10.2 Estimates of Current Whale Populations"- b

Whale characteristics Whale food consumption

TABLE 10.2 Estimates of Current Whale Populations"- b

Whale characteristics Whale food consumption

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