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Keywords:

  • minke whale;
  • Balaenoptera acutorostrata;
  • stock identification;
  • morphometry;
  • principal component analyses;
  • North Atlantic

Abstract

Multivariate statistical analyses of 18 morphometric characters were performed in order to evaluate potential heterogeneity between predefined minke whale stock unit areas in the North Atlantic (West Greenland, Central, and Northeastern stocks). Results from principal component analyses suggested that the data cannot be regarded as random samples drawn from one uniform distribution. The overlap between groups was too substantial, however, to allow a firm conclusion concerning the question of isolated breeding stocks versus a large common breeding pool.