Save the Whales While We Still Can

Top of the Food Chain

These iconic species face threats across the oceans

Warm-blooded mammals that breathe air, nurse their young and communicate through “songs,” whales are among human’s favorite animals. But that doesn’t mean they are safe.

Despite a 1986 ban that made commercial whaling illegal, whales are still in deep danger.

  • Commercial whaling decimated populations for so long that some species won’t ever recover.
  • Subsistence whaling continues to threaten whale populations. Many countries—including Japan, Norway and Iceland—ignore continued illegal commercial whaling.
  • Climate change has made matters worse with warmer, acid and polluted oceans.
  • Food supplies run dangerously low due to over-fishing.
  • Whales get tangled up in fishing lines.

Almost 30 years after legal commercial whaling was stopped, seven out of the 13 great whale species are endangered or threatened.

On Earth Day 2010, Earth Day Network joined Greenpeace and other groups for a March on the White House to protest a possible resumption of commercial whaling. We won that battle but not the war.

How Many Whales Still Survive?

Species Population*
Northern Right Whale 500-1,000
Southern Right Whale 3,000
Bowhead Whale 8,000
Blue Whale 10,000-14,000
Fin Whale 120,000-150,000
Sei Whale 50,000
Humpback Whale 10,000+
Sperm Whale 200,000
Baiji 300
Indus Susu 500
Hector’s Dolphin 3,000-4,000
Atlantic Right Whale 350
West Pacific Grey Whale 100

 

*some info courtesy SeaWorld

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