Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) COSEWIC assessment and status report: chapter 4

Designatable Units

The Canadian population of fin whales is sensibly divided into two geographically separate units because there is no evidence for, or reason to expect, movement, and therefore demographic or genetic exchange, between the North Atlantic and North Pacific basins. Thus, there are two designatable units--Atlantic population and Pacific population--based on geographical separation. Following Rice's (1998) subspecies designations, both populations would belong to Balaenoptera physalus physalus. However, given the lack of a rigorous rationale for recognizing subspecies of fin whales, they are all simply considered B. physalus for purposes of this report.

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