Whale Passage, Prince of Wales Island

Whale Passage, Prince of Wales Island

by | Jun 26, 2020

Whale Passage is a waterway about 10 miles (16 km) long, between Thorne Island and Prince of Wales Island, about 40 miles (65 km) southwest of Wrangell and 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Whale Pass, Alaska. The passage was named in 1886 by Lieutenant Commander A.S. Snow, of the U.S. Navy and first published in 1887 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.

The community of Whale Pass was originally a logging camp and was first recognized in 1980 as the community of North Whale Pass, before shortening the name to simply Whale Pass. The community is located on Prince of Wales Island and at the north end of Whale Passage.

A marine reserve was established in Whale Passage and fishing has been restricted for decades. The area has been closed so biologists can monitor the population abundance of sea cucumbers affected only by natural conditions like water temperature and salinity and not by fishing pressure. The monitoring effort helps biologists know if a population crash outside the reserve is due to over-harvesting or variations in ocean conditions. Read more here and here. Explore more of Whale Passage here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2021 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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