The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has provided an update on its Pacific Ocean Whale and Ecosystem Research (POWER) cruise, which will assess the abundance, distribution and stock structure of Bryde's whales, and contribute to entanglement response.
The IWC-POWER cruise will establish baseline information on the Bryde's whale populations, which have not been studied for decades, and other species, with the overall objective of determining the status of large whale populations in the North Pacific region. During the 60-day cruise, the researchers will also collect data on marine debris. Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, the UK and the US are participating in the fieldwork.
The IWC-POWER crew also received training in entanglement response. The training included an overview of the global entanglement issue, an introduction to tools and techniques for the safe release of an entangled whale, and a practical component.
The POWER programme is in its sixth year and is expected to run for ten years.