Scientists sound alarm: whales stop breeding in the North Atlantic

In the North Atlantic this season the addition of young stock to whales is not noticed. The fact is that the Eubalaena glacialis (smooth northern whale), like its closest Pacific and southern whale relatives, breeds in winter. But the winter has already passed, but researchers never found the newborn whales.

This situation is observed for the first time in many decades of observation of northern whales. Usually, smooth whales for these purposes migrate to warmer waters, for example, to the shores of South Carolina or to the east coast of the United States. This takes place from October to March, and in April the whales return to the shores of Canada — to the North already with their young. Moreover, scientists clearly record this annually, since since 1989 they have been watching the whales with the help of special airplanes, counting the newborn sea animals, which, as a rule, swim near their mothers. This year, to the surprise of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) scientists, no new calves were found at all.

True, it should be noted that the number of newborn whales began to fall already in 2012, which caused NOAA concern, but no one could even imagine that the current season would come, which would not give a single calf. Here is what Phillip Hamilton, a New England researcher, says about this:

The situation is not just alarming, but catastrophic. Today, according to our estimates, about 450 whales live in the North Atlantic, of which at least 100 are females capable of reproduction. Even the replenishment of 15–20 individuals, which was noted in recent years, did not cause optimism, since approximately the same number of marine animals die in a year for one reason or another, but the current situation will lead to an obvious reduction in the Eubalaena glacialis population.

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Whales are considered the most intelligent sea animals, and, unlike humans, have a highly developed intuition, which they use to the full. If they deliberately refuse to breed, as, for example, wolves in a zoo, then they have good reasons for that. What do the northern whales feel, not wanting to give birth to new offspring?

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