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Whales—are they destined for immediate extinction or will a workable method of controlling their harvest soon appear? In an attempt to answer these and other biological questions related to whaling, the U.S. Department of the Interior, New York Zoological Society, Smithsonian Institution, International Biological Program, and several other organizations sponsored an international conference on the biology of whales in June 1971. The conference brought together experts on cetacean biology and population dynamics of whale stocks and relevant aspects of their biology. This volume collects papers written for that conference by nineteen authors representing eight nations.
The topics discussed include cetacean biology and natural history; methods of estimating the numbers of whales; population counts before, during, and after intensive whaling; recovery rates as whaling diminishes or stops; improved ways of managing whales as a resource; and suggestions for further research. There is in addition a historical chapter on the International Whaling Commission, its failures and its positive accomplishments.