Comments: Bowhead whales and right whales often have been included in the same genus (Balaena) (e.g., Rice 1998), but most recent classifications recognize them as distinct genera (Balaena for bowhead whale, Eubalaena for right whales) (e.g., Baker et al. 2003; Mead and Brownell, in Wilson and Reeder 2005). MtDNA data are consistent with recognition of Balaena and Eubalaena as distinct genera (Rosenbaum et al. 2000).
Five stocks currently recognized worldwide: Spitsbergen, Davis Strait, Hudson Bay, Okhotsk and Western Arctic, or Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas (IWC 1992 in Rugh et al. 2003).