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Dolphins, Porpoises, and Whales - IUCN

Dolphins, Porpoises, and Whales - IUCN

vessels, underwater

vessels, underwater detonations, and polluted or diminished food supplies. In some areas, directed takes (i.e. those where the cetacean was the fisherman's or hunter's intended target) continue to occur, and there is a demand for river-dolphin products such as meat, oil, and reproductive organs (Reeves et al. 1993a, da Silva and Marmontel 1994). Coastal small cetaceans are also perceived as competing with humans for certain resources, often with no direct evidence to support such perceptions. Some populations have experienced high rates of mortality due to accidental entanglement in fishing gear, and in areas such as Peru (Read et al. 1988, Van Waerebeek and Reyes in press), Sri Lanka (Leatherwood and Reeves 1989), and the Philippines (Leatherwood e/a/. 1992, Dolar et a/. 1994, Dolar in press ), the bycatch has given rise to a directed catch as fishermen have become more aware of markets for cetacean meat, blubber, and organs. Culling operations, inspired by the perception that depredations by small cetaceans are responsible for local declines in fish harvests, continued at least until 1991 in Japan (Kasuya 1985b, Anonymous 1992a, Kishiro and Kasuya 1993) and may continue in the Philippines (Leatherwood, unpubl. data) and Turkey (Buckland et al. 1992b). The lUCN's Red Data Book (RDB) on cetaceans (Klinowska 1991) provides a comprehensive review of information on each species and is current through approximately 1989-1990. In the present document under "Status of Species and Populations" we have limited ourselves largely to updating rather than duplicating the RDB. Readers interested in more detailed background are encouraged to consult the RDB, available from lUCN Publications Services Unit, 219 Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 ODL, U.K. (£30) or in the U.S.A. and Canada from Island Press, Box 7, Covelo, California 95428 (U.S. $55 in 1993). In addition to the RDB, the IWC's report series provides a wealth of information on the biology and status of VIII the populations of both large and small cetaceans. Concurrent with its decision in 1982 to implement a pause (= "moratorium") in commercial whaling (IWC 1983), the IWC called for a "comprehensive assessment" of whale stocks. By the end of 1993 major reviews had been completed for minke whales in the Southern Hemisphere, North Atlantic, and western North Pacific, fin whales in the North Atlantic, bowheads in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas, and gray whales in the eastern North Pacific (R. Gambell, pers. comm.). Detailed re-assessments of the bowhead and gray whale stocks, as well as certain fin (Greenland) and minke (Greenland and western North Pacific) stocks, were planned for the 1994 IWC meeting. The IWC's Subcommittee on Small Cetaceans has continued its annual assessments of stocks in spite of the Commission's ambivalence concerning its competence to manage the exploitation of most small cetacean species. Annual meetings of the subcommittee focus on particular species groups or regional problems, and an effort is made in each case to summarize the state of knowledge and identify research and conservation needs. Special IWC volumes have been published on the genus Cephalorhynchus (Brownell and Donovan 1988) and the northern-hemisphere pilot whales (genus Globicephala) (Donovan et al. 1993), and similar volumes are currently in production on the beaked whales (family Ziphiidae), the porpoises (family Phocoenidae), the gray whale, and the problem of cetacean bycatches in passive nets and traps. Also of relevance in the present context is the report prepared by the Subcommittee on Small Cetaceans in 1991 as background for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 (IWC 1992a). This report covers "small cetacean stocks subjected to significant directed and incidental takes" and provides, in each case, a review of current status and a list of research and management recommendations. It is available from the IWC (The Red House, Station Road, Histon, Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB4 4NP).

Chapter 1 Classification Figure 1. The clymene dolphin Is endemic to the tropical North Atlantic. Three of the five recognized species in the genus Stenella have pantroplcal distributions; the clymene dolphin and Atlantic spotted dolphin are endemic in the tropical to warm-temperate Atlantic Ocean. (Gulf of Mexico). One new species of beaked whale, the pygmy beaked wha\e, Mesoplodon peruvianus, was recently described and named (Reyes etal. 1991; also see Ralls and Browneli 1991), and additional ziphiid species remain to be identified (cf. Pitman et al. 1987, J.G. Mead, pers. comm., 24 Nov. 1992). A new species of Mesoplodon will soon be described from the Juan Fernandez Islands, Chile (K. Van Waerebeek, pers. comm.). The genus Delphinus, long considered monospecific, has recently been subdivided into two species, the long-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus capensis, and the short-beaked common dolphin, De/p/j//jM.v

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