Whale Populations Around Iceland Changing - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Whale Populations Around Iceland Changing

Published March 30, 2016

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Ambassador Akureyri

The whale populations around Iceland are changing in both size and location, some of which is attributable to warming seas.

RÚV reports that Gísli Víkingsson, a specialist at the Marine Research Institute, has noticed some changes occurring amongst baleen whale stocks around Iceland. Over the past few decades, some stocks have grown, others have shrank, and others still have moved to other waters.

Fin whales and humpbacks have increased in number since 1987, when more exact counting of their numbers began. At the same time, blue whales have moved into more northern waters, which is attributable to warming sea temperatures further south.

Minke whales saw a population increase during the turn of the century, but their numbers have been declining since then. Gísli believes this is a direct result of declining stocks of fish minke whales like to eat, such as capelin.

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