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Avoid politics in delisting whales


POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Sep 17, 2013

~~<p>Hawaii without humpback whales? In the 1960s, it wasn't so hard to imagine. Intensive hunting over two centuries reduced the humpback population to an estimated 1,400 in the North Pacific &mdash; the brink of extinction. In 1970, the federal government designated the humpback as endangered, a protective status the species holds today.</p>
<p>Thankfully, things have changed. The population appears to have recovered; today more than 21,000 whales ply the waters between Alaska and Hawaii. They have become not only an ecological treasure but an integral part of the tourist economy, generating tens of millions of dollars each year for tour boat companies.</p>
~~

Hawaii without humpback whales? In the 1960s, it wasn't so hard to imagine. Intensive hunting over two centuries reduced the humpback population to an estimated 1,400 in the North Pacific — the brink of extinction. In 1970, the federal government designated the humpback as endangered, a protective status the species holds today.

Thankfully, things have changed. The population appears to have recovered; today more than 21,000 whales ply the waters between Alaska and Hawaii. They have become not only an ecological treasure but an integral part of the tourist economy, generating tens of millions of dollars each year for tour boat companies. Login for more...



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