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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Say Goodbye to Beluga Whales

Alaska's beluga whales are on the way out, next hundred years or so. So, quick, get a harpoon and eat one of the suckers before it is too late.

Based on aerial surveys in June, 2006, the agency estimated that only about 302 belugas remained in the upper Inlet last year. The results suggest the population has slipped 5.6 percent per year since 1994 and a 4.1 percent per year since 1999.

"The latest population abundance estimates confirm a continuing decline," said Brix in the release. "It will be difficult, if not impossible, to meet the dual goals of maintaining a subsistence harvest for the near term while recovering the population itself."

The whales face a 26 percent chance of becoming extinct within 100 years, according to a status review released last winter. "It is likely that the Cook Inlet beluga population will continue to decline or go extinct over the next 300 years unless factors determining its growth and survival are altered in its favor."




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