Whalewatching venture at risk

Date: 1/6/2004

Sperm whales are the world’s largest toothed whales and were the main target of commercial whaling in New Zealand. Worldwide, their numbers dropped from 2.8 million to between 570,000 and 1.8 million during the whaling era. Studies of stomach contents show that New Zealand sperm whales may have switched from a fish-and-squid diet to squid only. Trawlers’ nets are catching deep-water squid and destroying their habitat – potentially forcing the whales to go elsewhere.

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