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North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica)

Before right whales in the North Pacific were heavily exploited by commercial whalers, concentrations were found in the Gulf of Alaska, eastern Aleutian Islands, south-central Bering Sea, Sea of Okhotsk, and Sea of Japan. During 1965-99, following illegal catches by the USSR, there were only 82 sightings of right whales in the entire eastern North Pacific, with the majority of these occurring in the Bering Sea and adjacent areas of the Aleutian Islands. Sightings have been reported as far south as central Baja California in the eastern North Pacific, as far south as Hawaii in the central North Pacific, and as far north as the sub-Arctic waters of the Bering Sea and Sea of Okhotsk in the summer. Migratory patterns of the North Pacific whales are unknown, although it is thought the whales migrate from high-latitude feeding grounds in summer to more temperate waters during the winter, possibly offshore. No calving grounds have been found in the eastern North Pacific. Northern Right Whale adults are about 17 m long and can weigh up to 100 tons. Females are larger than males.

MML Research Recent MML Right Whale Publications
  • CRANCE, J. L., C. L. BERCHOK, D. L. WRIGHT, A. M. BREWER, and D. F. WOODRICH. 2019. Song production by the North Pacific right whale, Eubalaena japonica. J. Acoust. Sci. Am. 145: 3467-3479.  Online.
  • WRIGHT, D. L., C. L. BERCHOK, J. L. CRANCE, and P. J. CLAPHAM. 2019. Acoustic detection of the critically endangered North Pacific right whale in the northern Bering Sea. Mar. Mammal Sci. Early online.   Online.
  • WRIGHT, D. L., M. CASTELLOTE, C. L. BERCHOK, D. PANIRAKIS, J. L. CRANCE, and P. J. CLAPHAM. 2018. Acoustic detection of North Pacific right whales in a high-traffic Aleutian Pass, 2009-2015. Endangered Species Research 37:77-90.   Online.
  • DAVIS, G. E., M. F. BAUMGARTNER, J. M. BONNELL, J. BELL, C. BERCHOK, J. BORT THORNTON, S. BRAULT, G. BUCHANAN, R. A. CHARIF, D. CHOLEWIAK, C. W. CLARK, P. CORKERON, J. DELARUE, K. DUDZINSKI, L. HATCH, J. HILDEBRAND, L. HODGE, H. KLINCK, S. KRAUS, B. MARTIN, D. K. MELLINGER, H. MOORS-MURPHY, S. NIEUKIRK, D. P. NOWACEK, S. PARKS, A. J. READ, A. N. RICE, D. RISCH, A. ŠIROVIĆ, M. SOLDEVILLA, K. STAFFORD, J. E. STANISTREET, E. SUMMERS, S. TODD, A. WARDE, and S. M. VAN PARIJS. 2017. Long-term passive acoustic recordings track the changing distribution of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) from 2004 to 2014. Sci. Rep. 7:13460.   Online.
  • Search the AFSC database for additional Right Whale publications
Recent MML Right Whale Posters
  • Stereotyped, Repetitive Gunshot Call Patterns Produced by the North Pacific Right Whale, Eubalaena japonica
    1.86 MB  Online.
  • Employing Active Aerial Acoustics to Increase Detections of the Critically Endangered North Pacific Right Whale
    2.95 MB  Online.
  • Aerial Sonobuoys: a Tool for Increasing Detectability of the Endangered North Pacific Right Whale (Eubalaena japonica) in the Southeastern Bering Sea
    394 KB  Online.
  • Search the AFSC database for additional Right Whale posters
Right Whale Stock Assessment Reports
MML Education Web (these pages are targeted toward students!) Management Right Whale Images Other links

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