5-Year Reviews for the Endangered Fin Whale, Endangered Gray Whale Western North Pacific Distinct Population Segment, and Endangered Sei Whale
In 2018, NOAA Fisheries announced the initiation of 5-year reviews for the endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), the endangered gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) Western North Pacific distinct population segment (DPS), and the endangered sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis).
NMFS is required by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to conduct 5-year reviews to ensure that the listing classifications of the species are accurate. The 5-year reviews must be based on the best scientific and commercial data available at the time.
We requested submission of any such information on the fin whale, gray whale Western North Pacific DPS, and the sei whale, particularly, information on the status, threats, and recovery of the species that has become available since the previous status review for the fin whale in 2011, the gray whale Western North Pacific DPS in 1991, and the sei whale in 2012.
We have now completed the 5-year reviews. We conclude that no change to the listing status of the sei whale and the western North Pacific DPS of gray whale is warranted at this time. We recommend that the fin whale should be downlisted from endangered to threatened based on a review of the best available scientific and commercial information.