……objective science for conservation…….

The Pacific WildLife Foundation is a non-profit coastal and marine research and education society  that inspires an appreciation for objective scientific research and conservation of the ocean. We conduct original research, develop novel education programs, and inspire an appreciation for conservation of the ocean. 

 The Pacific
 Marine Mammals
 Get Involved

If you would like to make a donation to The Pacific WildLife Foundation you can use our secure online site or your donation can be mailed to our office.

Click Here for Donation Info

Northern Right Whale Eubalaena glacialis

Right whales once occupied the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and are now one of the rarest mammals (Wilson and Ruff 1999, Waite et al. 2003). They were hunted from the beginning of whaling 800 years ago until the height of Yankee commercial whaling in the 19th century. The species was once abundant in the north Pacific. That any survive in the north Pacific today is remarkable and provides a glimmer of hope that the right whale might one day recover to its former abundance. However, there are no immediate signs of recovery. Although it is regularly sighted in Alaska, the winter quarters are not known. Right whales are about 17 meters long and weight 60 to 100 tonnes (Wilson and Ruff 1999). Individual whales can be distinguished by characteristic growths on their heads known as callosities.




Brueggeman, J.J., T. Newby, R. A. Grotefendt. 1986. Catch records of the twenty north Pacific right whales from two Alaska whaling stations, 1917-39. Arctic 39: 43-46.

Clapham, P., C. Good, S. Quinn, R.R. Reeves, J.E. Scarff and R.L. Brownell Jr. 2004.  Distribution of North Pacific right whales (Eubalaena japonica) as shown by 19th and 20th century whaling catch and sighting recordsJournal of Cetacean Research and Management 6: 1-6.

Goddard, P.D. and D. J. Rugh. 1998. A group of right whales seen in the Bering Sea in July 1996. Marine Mammal Science 14: 344-349.

LeDuc, R. 2004. Report of the results of the 2002 survey for North Pacific right whales. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Technical Memorandum, NMFS-SWFSC-357, Washington DC.

LeDuc, R.G., W.L. Perryman, J.W. Gilpatrick Jr., J. Hyde, C. Stinchcomb, J.V. Carretta, and R. L. Brownell Jr.  2001. A note on recent surveys for right whales in the southeastern Bering Sea. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management 2 (Special Issue): 287-289.

Nichol, L. M., E. J. Gregr, R. Flinn, J.K.B. Ford, R. Gurney, L. Michaluk and A. Peacock. 2002. British Columbia commercial whaling catch data 1908 to 1967: A detailed description of the B.C. historical whaling database. Canadian Technical Report of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 2396,

Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nanaimo, B. C., Canada.

Scarff, J.E. 2001. Preliminary estimates of whaling-induced mortality in the 19th century Pacific northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) fishery, adjusting for struck-but-lost whales and non-American whaling. Journal of Cetacean Research and Management. (Special Issue 18): 261-268.

Shelden, K.., S. Moore, J. Waite, P. Wade and D. Rugh. 2005. Historic and current habitat use by North Pacific right whales, Eubalaena japonica, in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.  Mammal Review 35: 129-155.

Townsend C.H. 1935. The distribution of certain whales as shown by logbook records of American whaleships. Zoologica 19(1-2): 1-50.

Waite, J. M. K. Wynne and D. K. Mellinger. 2003. Documented sighting of a north Pacific right whale in the Gulf of Alaska and post-sighting acoustic monitoring. Northwestern Naturalist 84: 38–43.

Wilson, D. E. and S. Ruff 1999. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. University of British Columbia Press, Vancouver, BC


  Terms of Use  Privacy Policy