Norton Sound Beluga Whale Population is “Abundant,” New Survey Suggests

Sunset after a day of crabbing in Norton Sound. July 2014.

A recent aerial survey of the eastern Bering Sea suggests the Norton Sound beluga whale population is abundant in number.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries has spent more than two weeks counting belugas in collaboration with the Alaska Beluga Whale Committee. According to their latest numbers from last week, 917 whales have been seen in the Norton Sound.

In a NOAA Fisheries press release, the surveyors said these numbers “put us well on track to being able to update the abundance estimate for this population of belugas.”

NOAA says the majority of these whales were sighted offshore of the Yukon River Delta.

The final results from the Norton Sound beluga whale survey have not yet been released at this time.