Whales have been heavily hunted in recent centuries.
Throughout the 17th to 20th century, whales were hunted to near extinction for commercial purposes. Large-scale movements in the late 20th century led to a moratorium on most whaling activities. In the 21st century, renewed interest in commercial whaling and environmental changes caused by pollution and climate change threaten whale populations again. If you are interested in helping save the whales, there are several steps you can take.
Someone who wants to help save species like the humpback whale can study how changes in plankton populations or ocean temperatures affect those particular species.
The most fun way to help the whale species is to support the whale watching industries. Often taking boat trips to common whale sites, these groups often emphasize the importance of conservation. Some experts suggest that the best way to prove to government agencies that whales are worth more alive than dead is by supporting industries that depend on live whales.
Blue whales, the largest creatures in the world, are in danger of extinction.
However, be careful when taking whale watching trips with reputable companies. Experts suggest that ships should maintain a safe distance from the animals to avoid causing them undue stress. Be sure to ask the company about local regulations and their whaling policy. Don’t assume that these regulations will prevent you from getting close to the whales; some whales seem to like the boats and many wander off alone to watch whales on cruise ships.
Another way to help save the whales is to donate money or volunteer time to a reputable whale protection organization. These organizations are dedicated to defending the International Whaling Committee’s whaling bans and promoting government legislation that protects animals and their habitats. Many have flyers and direct mail campaigns constantly seeking volunteer help.
A great way to help the whales is to help with their research. The more we understand about the life cycles and behavior of whales, the better we can help assess their needs. Many organizations, such as Greenpeace, offer job opportunities aboard research ships. Please note that this is an important and difficult job and not a tourist attraction. If you have maritime skills, this is an excellent opportunity that will help save the whales.
Possibly the best thing you can do to help save the whales is to involve children in the process. Ensuring that the next generation is interested in protecting the whale species is vital to the continued survival of the animals. Many whale organizations have created products and ideas to help engage children in the fight to save the whales.
One way to get kids interested in whales is to help them adopt a whale through a reputable conservation group. Adopt-a-Whale packages often include photos of the whale, regular newsletters, conservation information, and sometimes even a stuffed toy. They make great birthday gifts and start at $20. By helping a child feel personally connected to a whale or whale species, you can create a new whale supporter as you donate to conservation efforts.
One of the biggest threats facing whale populations today is increased human pollution. Some whale carcasses are now so contaminated with chemicals that they are considered toxic waste. High levels of toxicity have been linked to falling birth rates and declining whale populations. To help save whales in everyday life, buy environmentally friendly, biodegradable products and support recycling efforts to prevent harmful materials like plastic from entering the water supply. By supporting industries that produce environmentally safe products, you are informing commercial markets that these items are worth producing.