Good news from the coast: Humpbacks making a comeback!

It’s good news for humpback whales. Authorities in the United States are taking a number of humpback whale populations off the endangered species list.


Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) – Baleen whales can grow up to 16m

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) fisheries scientists have identified 14 distinct population segments of humpback whale and have concluded that nine of these no longer warrant being listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). After a study taking several years they have concluded that these populations have recovered enough in the last 40 years.


Seasonal visitors Humpbacks can be spotted around the Irish coast at this time of year (late summer – early autumn)

Their recovery is due to international efforts to protect these cetaceans. There numbers have grown steadily since a global ban on commercial whaling that was placed nearly 50 years ago.

Of the remaining five distinct populations, four still remain endangered and one still threatened.

“Today’s news is a true ecological success story,” said Eileen Sobeck, assistant NOAA administrator for fisheries. “Whales, including the humpback, serve an important role in our marine environment.”

Humpback whales are seasonal visitors to our waters which have been declared a Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary since 1991.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22