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Reply to the comment by Romero and Kannada on “Genetic analysis of 16th-century whale bones prompts a revision of the impact of Basque whaling on right and bowhead whales in the western North Atlantic”

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The comment by Romero and Kannada is presented as a critique of our previous work and suggests that our conclusions are in direct conflict with the historic whaling information reviewed in their paper. However, the critique is based on a misinterpretation of the geographical, temporal, and taxonomic focus of our previous work. The source of the putative conflict appears to stem from the misinterpretation that our results, focused solely on the impact of Basque whaling in the 16th and 17th centuries on the western North Atlantic right whale, were intended to be representative of all whaling of both right and bowhead whales throughout the North Atlantic. To demonstrate this, we briefly review our original results and conclusions and show that the information reviewed by Romero and Kannada does not challenge any aspect of our original work. As such, their comment is not a critique of our paper, but rather a brief review of the history of whaling in the North Atlantic.

Les commentaires de Romero et Kannada se veulent une critique de notre travail antérieur et laissent entendre que nos conclusions sont en contradiction directe avec les données historiques récapitulées dans leur article. Cependant, cette critique se base sur une mauvaise interprétation des échelles géographique, temporelle et taxonomique de notre travail. La source du conflit apparent semble provenir d’une mauvaise impression selon laquelle nos résultats, qui couvrent seulement l’impact de la chasse par les basques sur la baleine franche du Nord de l’ouest de l’Atlantique nord aux 16e et 17e siècles, représentent les effets de toute la chasse aux baleines franches du Nord et aux baleines franches boréales dans l’ensemble de l’Atlantique nord. Afin de faire la lumière sur la question, nous passons en revue nos résultats et nos conclusions d’origine et montrons que les données étudiées par Romero et Kannada ne mettent en question aucun aspect de notre travail original. Leurs commentaires ne sont donc pas une critique de notre étude, mais plutôt un bref aperçu de l’histoire de la chasse à la baleine dans l’Atlantique Nord.

Document Type: Discussion

Publication date: July 1, 2006

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