Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Since 1986, commercial whaling has been prohibited by the International Whaling Commision. Balaenoptera bonaerensis is currently taken for scientific whaling by the Japanese. The animals caught in that process can then be sold on the market for food. Before the decline of larger whale species, such as fin and blue whales (Balaenoptera physalus and Balaenoptera musculus, respectively), B. bonaerensis was rarely targeted by whalers due to its comparatively smaller size. Consequently, whaling on Antarctic minke whales has only started relatively recently, since 1971 (IWC 2006 as cited in Reilly et al., 2008).
Positive Impacts: food ; research and education
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