New data shows that humpback whale populations have been growing steadily over recent decades, and as a result, the U.S. government may take the humpback whale off the endangered species list.
Last year, the National Marine Fisheries Service, an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), received results from an extensive study showing that the north Pacific humpback whale population has been growing 4-7% a year over the past few decades.
But, is that sufficient reason to delist the humpback whale?
Some say that emerging threats, such as climate change and ocean acidification, continue to endanger marine mammals.
Others, like Ralph Reeves, who chairs the cetacean specialist group at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), feel that conservationists must “embrace success,” and support delisting if populations have recovered.
There has been an international ban on commercial whaling since 1966.
Currently, researchers estimate that the global humpback population is about 60,000.