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Report of the intersessional correspondence group that reviewed the Icelandic humpback whale abundance estimates

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Palka, Canadas, Donovan, Freitas, Gunnlaugsson, Herr, Pike, Vikingsson, Weinrich, Zerbini

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International Whaling Commission


The terms of reference for this intersessional correspondence group (ICG) were to review several papers that estimated abundance of humpback whales from surveys around Iceland (Pike et al. 2002a, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2018, and Paxton et al. 2009). The objectives of these papers were to provide the best abundance estimates for each year the survey was conducted and to investigate trends over the time series. After discussions, the ICG concluded that the 2015 perception bias corrected shipboard abundance estimate of 10,031 (95% CI 4,962 – 20,278) be classified as a Category I for the Icelandic/Faroese study area. After small modifications and conducting another review of the new analysis, the 2007 abundance estimate may be a candidate to be classified as a Category I for the Icelandic/Faroese study area. In additions a few suggestions were made to assist in developing a complete and comparable time series that could be used in investigate trends.

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