Why Are Whales Endangered?
There are a number of factors contributing to the current endangered status of whales such as overfishing, pollution, dam/bridge construction, private/commercial boating and commercial whaling, but out of these contributing factors commercial whaling has had the largest affect on the endangered status of today’s existing whale populations.
Whales hunting by humans has existed for thousands of years; as far back as prehistoric times. One of the oldest methods known for capturing whales was to place several small boats beside a whale in an attempt to scare it and drive it to shore where it would land on the beach and could be killed. Despite whales being hunted for thousands of years the majority of those early hunting endeavors had little impact on the current overall endangered whales situation we now face today. However as technology advanced the ability to hunt whales became easier and companies/corporations began hunting whales in organized fleets. Advancements in technology also led to the raw materials of whales becoming highly sought after by various countries that were able to use their oil, blubber and other parts to make various products and goods.
For those involved in hunting whales it became a very lucrative profession which boosted the commercial whaling industry and led to competition, ultimately increasing the rate that whales were being killed annually.
Today whale killings are done primarily as a way to obtain the whales meat and sell it as food in countries that either loosely monitor commercial whaling practices or by those that use legal loopholes to continue whaling. In some countries whale meat is even considered a delicacy and may be sold at a premium price. One loophole that has been known to be used for commercial whaling practices in the past is to capture a whale and claim that it is for research purposes then turn around and sell the meat with the explanation that it is the best way to get rid of the whales corpse.
Some organizations and activists believe that this is simply a loophole that is being exploited which allows certain countries to get away with continuing their commercial whaling practices.
Although numerous counties have adopted policies and laws that prevent commercial whaling there are a handful of countries known to still participate in commercial whaling to this day, however growing pressure from other countries and organizations appears to be causing a declining interest in hunting whales as people become more and more aware of the current situation and its affect on whale populations.