Preliminary results of comparisons within Southern Hemisphere Blue Whale Catalogue (SHBWC) Project in the Southeast Pacific and Eastern Tropical Pacific region
Barbara Galletti Vernazzani, Elsa Cabrera, Sonia Espanol, Ken Findlay, Paula Olson and Frederick Toro
International Whaling Commission
Blue whales are known to occur in the South Pacific and Eastern Tropical Pacific but little is known about their long-term movements. The Southern Hemisphere Blue Whale Catalogue is a platform to share individual photo-identification catalogues among blue whale research groups. Comparisons of 838 photoidentified blue whales from five different research groups working in southern and northern Chile and ETP provided ten whales re-sighted. Matches were found only within southern Chile, consistent with the strong site fidelity previously reported for this area. The longest re-sightings occurred over 10 years for three different whales. Matching process is still ongoing and will provide further insight on this blue whale population over these different areas.