In the 18th century, humans began targeting whales due to their excess of blubber, which could be turned into valuable oil that was used through the 20th century for lighting, candle wax, and machine lubricant. Hunted to the brink of extinction, it was estimated that in 1960 there were less than 1,000 humpback whales left in the world.
Due to pressure from the international community, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) put an global moratorium in place, banning the practice of commercial whaling worldwide. However, some countries use the cloaking of Scientific Research to justify whale hunting, while bringing the meat back and selling it for food.
According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, Japanese whalers “are supplying products that nobody wants and science that nobody uses."
Listed as "Critically Endangered" the global Bluefin Tuna population is estimated to have fallen 97% since 1950. A common item on sushi plates, a high demand for this fish has led to global
"Steep declines in Atlantic cod and other historically abundant fish stocks prompted scientists to look more broadly at how humans were affecting the oceans. In 2003 two fisheries experts at Canada's Dalhousie University calculated that populations of large fish — such as tuna, had fallen by 90 percent since 1950."
- Ecosystems Distruction
- Economic Impact
- Food Supply
- Climate Change
In 2014, the International Court of Justice in The Hague (ICJ) ruled that the state-sponsored Japanese Research Whaling operation in the southern ocean is in fact illegal commercial whaling in disguise. Since that ruling, the fleet has continued to hunt thousands of whales in the southern ocean, where no nation enforces the international law. Non-Profit organizations make an effort to stop illegal fishing & hunting of endangered marine wildlife around the world.