31 Oct 2008

Scientists study humpback whale habitats near American Samoa

10:58 am on 31 October 2008

The waters of American Samoa continue to be a popular breeding ground for humpback whales.

In their most recent whale watching and research tour of the territory, scientists from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration counted and photographed over 70 humpbacks in a 10 day period.

David Matila, who heads the team says the research is very important because there's an active proposal to start hunting humpback whales in the Antarctic.

"We're also working with biologists in western Samoa, and they don't see anywhere as many humpback whales over there as we we do over here. But between us used to be a really important breeding habitat for humpback whales in the Samoan islands."

David Matila. NOAA scientists have been observing and documenting the breeding and migration patterns of the marine mammals for the past six years.