Recovery Plan for the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Endangered Species Act Recovery Plan for the Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
The goal of this Recovery Plan is to promote the recovery of blue whales to the point at which they can be removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the provisions of the ESA. The intermediate goal is to reach a sufficient recovery status to reclassify the species from endangered to threatened. The two main objectives for blue whales are to 1) increase blue whale resiliency and ensure geographic and ecological representation by achieving sufficient and viable populations in all ocean basins and in each recognized subspecies, and 2) increase blue whale resiliency by managing or eliminating significant anthropogenic threats. The recovery criteria take two forms: 1) those that reflect the status of the species itself and 2) those that indicate effective management or elimination of threats. These criteria would apply to the species throughout its range, but the criteria also include specific targets for each of the nine management units to support the objectives of species' viability (e.g., resiliency, redundancy, and representation).