Whale Mortality in the California Current

A Synthesis Inspired by Policy to Inform Policy

Are current approaches to whale management sufficient for curbing mortality rates in the California Current?

In 2019, the California Ocean Protection Council outlined a strategy for eliminating whale mortality off the California coast. Termed "Vision Zero", this goal seemed ambitious and several uncertainties surrounding what causes whale mortality remained. I co-led a group of grad students to aggregate and synthesize the best available information on whale mortality rates and regulatory methods in California to inform regional whale conservation.


Oldach, E.*, Killeen, H.*, Shukla, P., Brauer, E., Carter, N., Fields, J., Thomsen, A., Cooper, C., Mellinger, L., Wang, K., Hendrickson, C., Neuman, A., Bøving, P.S., Fangue, N. 2022. Managed and unmanaged whale mortality in the California Current Ecosystem. Marine Policy. doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2022.105039.

*denotes shared first-authorship.

In The Media

  • Researchers call for a holistic approach to conserving whales | The Wildlife Society
  • To Save California’s Whales, Put Overlooked Threats Into Policy | UC Davis News