The main threat to this whale has been hunting; humans have exploited the species for its oil, hide, baleen and meat (6). The activities of early whalers were, at the very least, a contributing factor to the extinction of the gray whale in the Atlantic Ocean (5), while massive over-exploitation in the 19th and 20th centuries almost destroyed the whole species (6). Whilst hunting is now banned a small quota is permitted to indigenous hunters (6). Shipping and industrial activities in the coastal migratory routes increase the risk of collisions with ships, entanglement in fishing nets and pollution. Furthermore, habitat degradation resulting from drilling and dredging is also a problem (1) (5).
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