Population genetic studies in Northeastern Atlantic minke whales
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Minke whales are the most abundance species of baleen whales in the North Atlantic. As part of current management of minke whales in Norwegian and adjacent waters, a DNA-register have been established. The register ensures that samples are taken of each animal caught under the Norwegian catch quota, and that a DNA-profile is established and stored in a database from each individual whale. Previous studies have indicated that genetic population sub-structure exists within the North Atlantic, but sample sizes were limited. We present an analysis based on the sex, mtDNA control region sequences and 10 microsatellite loci from the 4500 individuals that currently constitute the DNA-register. Information about population structure is an essential input to the management procedure applied for North Atlantic minke whales.