Photographic identification of the Korean-Okhotsk gray whale Eschrichtius robustus population has been conducted since 2002 by researchers of the Institute of Marine Biology at the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IMB FEB RAS), with financial support provided by Exon Neftegas, Ltd. and Sakhalin Energy Investment Co., in order to study the migration features and biology of this species. In 2008, photo-ID studies were carried out in two areas, off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island and off the southeastern coast of Kamchatka. As a result of the studies, 122 whales known from the Sakhalin gray whale catalogue were photographed. Of them, 97 individuals were registered off Sakhalin, 24, off Kamchatka, and one whale was observed at both sites. In addition, 25 more gray whales that had not been sighted off Sakhalin Island before were found off the coast of Kamchatka. Based on these photographic materials, the whales physical and skin conditions were also analyzed. Cases of sightings of gray whales in areas that are remote from their traditional summer and fall feeding grounds in the Far Eastern seas of Russia are discussed.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 8, 2010
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