Humpback History: Soviet Whaling

More than 21,000 humpback whales now swim in the North Pacific, and sometime in the next few weeks, federal officials will decide whether that’s enough whales to declare them no longer at risk of extinction.

Like nearly all the great whales, humpbacks were heavily hunted. And one question researchers have grappled with is how many animals there were before the whaling fleets took their toll.

To solve this mystery, it turns out, you have to take a trip back in time, and into the secret history of Soviet whaling.

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