Ecosystem overviews

Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

State of the ecosystem: Marine mammals

​​​​A number of baleen and toothed whales utilize the ecoregion during migration and as feeding areas.

​The overall assessments of baleen whales for the entire Northeast Atlantic is that the abundance of minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) is stable, while fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) are increasing (following heavy depletion by hunting in the past). 

There is no information on trends in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), and for blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) the numbers remain low but may be increasing. A total figure of 30 000 sperm whales in the entire central and eastern Atlantic was suggested by Rogan et al. (2017). Female sperm whales and their calves remain in the warmer lower latitudes, while so called “bachelor herds" and large bulls are found in northern waters when not breeding. 

Several species of beaked whales (Hyperoodontidae) occur in the northeastern and northwestern areas of the ecoregion. Pilot whales (Globicephala sp.) and Atlantic white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus acutus) are more frequently observed in the cooler and less saline waters, while the opposite was true for common and striped dolphins.​

Print this pagePrint it Request newsletterSend to Post to Facebook Post to Twitter Post to LinkedIn Share it
c FollowFollow Focus on ContentFocus on Content
HelpGive Feedback

Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) · Conseil International pour l'Exploration de la Mer (CIEM)
ICES Secretariat · H. C. Andersens Boulevard 44-46, DK 1553 Copenhagen V, Denmark · Tel: +45 3338 6700 · Fax: +45 3393 4215 ·
Disclaimer Privacy policy · © ICES - All Rights Reserved