Parasitism in Antarctic Commercial Whale Stocks and their Potential Significance
IAAAM Archive
Murray D. Dailey

Dept. of Biology, Calif. State University, Long Beach, CA

During the period from October 1976 to April 1977, a total of 239 whales were examined for parasitic organisms (113 Minke, 93 Sei, 33 Sperm). These animals were taken as part of the Japanese quota for the 1976-77 whaling season in the southern Oceans. Parasites were recovered from 100% of the Sei and Sperm whales and 11.5% of the Minke whales examined.  Parasites recovered consisted of nematodes, cestodes and acanthocephalans. Additional samples were taken for stomach material, viruses and Coccidia. Parasites were plotted by species and number against size, sex, locality and species of whale hosts. The data were then interpreted as biological indicators for zoogeographic distribution, sub-stock determinations and as a natural mortality index. Parasitic induced diseases of the stomach, intestine and urogenital system were noted.

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Murray D. Dailey, PhD
The Marine Mammal Center, Marin Headlands
Sausalito, CA

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