A potential research proposal to explore this issue is simply further investigation of the population dynamics of respective whale species. The more we understand about these species, the better the management policies will be. I propose focusing on the whale species that are in highest demand to pro-whaling communities, as there are currently several countries actively engaged in whaling with different quotas depending on specific whale populations. A great deal of funding needs to be going in to the continued monitoring of the whale populations being targeted.
An initial research project that I would propose is a more accurate way of estimating numbers of whales in endangered populations. There are three ways of counting whales; from the ice, underwater, and from the air (17). A lab at Cornell University has developed technology to track whale activity in the ocean using pop-up undersea recordings (40) The details of this mechanism are bit complicated, but the main idea is that the device can be installed as deep as 6,000 m on the ocean floor and is deployed to the surface upon completion of mission (which is typically about 21 days). The device records sound frequencies, revealing whale calls (40). This technology is extremely exciting and offers interesting opportunities for more precise whale population estimates.
I propose placing these devices along whale migratory paths during the periods of seasonal migration. This method, paired with the other types of counting methods, would result in more accurate data which would allow for better policy.