25 year old Moratorium on Whaling Remains!

Our 2010 season has been great for whale sightings – Humpback whales, several species of Porpoises, Orcas and even the 2nd largest animal in the world, the Fin Whale.

It’s hard to imagine but the areas we visit were historically were even greater in numbers, and would be still today, if it were not for the whaling industry which greatly decreased global whale populations, sometimes to critically low numbers.

For example, the global population of Humpback Whales – one of the whales we frequently cross paths with – was reduced to 90% in the 20th century and was put on the endangered species list. In response to these critically low numbers, the International Whaling Commission put a moratorium on hunting them in 1966.
Since then the northern pacific population has risen from 1,400 to almost 20,000 in number!

Another familiar whale to Bluewater is the Fin Whale, an enormous baleen whale, known for its speed relative to its size. This animal was also hunted to near extinction, but hasn’t had the recovery in the same numbers that the humpback has. This may be that despite a moratorium on whaling, a few countries are still hunting fin whales today.

A few weeks ago the International Whaling Commission met in Morocco to revisit the 25 year moratorium on hunting whales. Fortunately there was a huge global outcry and the proposal to lift the moratorium was shut down. Unfortunately, there are still countries that are hunting these whales under the guise of ‘scientific research’ and sometimes regardless of the moratorium.

Luckily for the whales that migrate to – and live around – the waters of coastal BC and SE Alaska, they are safe from the harpoon.
Some researchers even wonder if our waters are becoming the ‘retirement homes’ for whales that no longer need to migrate for breeding purposes.

If location is everything, these whales have chosen a great place to stay, with good food resources and friendly neighbours. We look forward to viewing these whales for years to come – shooting them only with the camera.

To find out how you can join us on a trip to see whales in friendly waters, visit us at our website.


Kay L. Davies said…
I remember reading this last month, and thought I had commented then, but perhaps I didn't.
Wonderful that you see so many whales. I love that retirement home theory!

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