Fin whales are returning to Antarctic waters for the first time since the 1976 hunting ban.

It has been 46 years since hunting for southern fin whales was restricted in Antarctica, and now it seems the animals are finally making a comeback.

Researchers spotted hundreds of southern fin whales feeding together near Elephant Island in Antarctica.

“I’ve never seen so many whales in one place before and was completely fascinated by watching these huge groups feed,” said Professor Bettina Meyer, a biologist at the Alfred Wegener Institute and co-author of the study.

The team hopes that the restoration of the fin whale population will also help restore other marine life in the area.

Researchers spotted hundreds of southern fin whales feeding together near Elephant Island in Antarctica.

In the study, the team used helicopter and video footage to collect data on the abundance of fin whales in Antarctica in April 2018 and March 2019.

In the study, the team used helicopter and video footage to collect data on the abundance of fin whales in Antarctica in April 2018 and March 2019.

southern fin whale

The fin whale is the second largest whale species on Earth, second only to the blue whale.

It got its name from the easily visible fin on its back, next to the tail.

Like all large whales, fin whales were hunted by commercial whalers, which greatly reduced their population.

They were not hunted by whalers at first because they were fast swimmers and lived in open ocean habitats.

But as whaling techniques modernized with steamships and explosive harpoons, and whalers slaughtered other easy-to-catch species, whaling evolved into fin whales.

Fin whales are the second largest whale species after the blue whale and were heavily hunted in the nineteenth century.

They were not hunted by whalers at first because they were fast swimmers and lived in open ocean habitats.

But as whaling techniques modernized with steamships and explosive harpoons, and whalers slaughtered other easy-to-catch species, whaling evolved into fin whales.

Unfortunately, by the time fin whale hunting was banned in 1976, it is estimated that over 700,000 whales had been killed.

In the study, the team used helicopter and video footage to collect data on the abundance of fin whales in Antarctica in April 2018 and March 2019.

They recorded 100 groups of fin whales ranging in size from one to four individuals.

The team also spotted eight unusually large groups of up to 150 whales that appeared to be actively feeding.

This came as a surprise to researchers who had previously observed fin whales feeding only in a group of up to 13 individuals.

In particular, the researchers noted a fin whale hotspot around Elephant Island, with an estimated 3,618 whales per square kilometer.

The team recorded 100 groups of fin whales ranging in size from one to four individuals.

The team recorded 100 groups of fin whales ranging in size from one to four individuals.

The team also spotted eight unusually large groups of up to 150 whales actively feeding.

The team also spotted eight unusually large groups of up to 150 whales actively feeding.

Observations suggest that fin whales are finally recovering in Antarctic waters.

“Even if we still don’t know the total number of fin whales in Antarctica due to the lack of simultaneous observations, this could be a good sign that, almost 50 years after the ban on commercial whaling, the fin whale population in Antarctica is recovering,” said Professor Meyer.

The results are promising for the wider marine ecosystem, the researchers say.

Although whales eat krill, they also benefit it.

Observations suggest that fin whales are finally recovering in Antarctic waters.

Observations suggest that fin whales are finally recovering in Antarctic waters.

Whale feces are a rich source of nutrients, including iron, and act as a fertilizer for microalgae in the water.

In turn, phytoplankton is the main food source for krill.

“As the whale population grows, the animals recycle more nutrients, increasing the productivity of the Southern Ocean,” said Professor Meyer.

“This accelerates the growth of algae, which in turn absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, reducing atmospheric CO2 concentrations.”

The study was published in Scientific reports.

WHALE’S SONG EXPLANATION

For a long time it was believed that whales sang exclusively for mating.

But some experts suggest that songs also help mammals explore their surroundings.

Researchers have documented how humpback whales change their calls when they move to new pastures to match the songs of those around them.

Learning these songs can help whales pinpoint each other and better group in unfamiliar waters.

Researchers have documented how humpback whales change their calls when they move to new pastures to match the songs of other people around them (file photo)

Researchers have documented how humpback whales change their calls when they move to new pastures to match the songs of other people around them (file photo)

It is difficult for scientists to study how whales sing, as the shy animals are notoriously difficult to observe and each species sings differently.

Humpback whales sing using folds in their vocal cords, which vibrate at low frequencies when air is passed over them.

It has been suggested that they have special air sacs attached to the vocal cords that connect to the lungs.

This allows the whales to pass air between their lungs, sacs, and vocal cords without wasting their precious air supply.