Blue Whale Status



In recent years the blue whale has been put on the protected species list because of dwindling numbers worldwide. Whalers hunted blue whales for years after the invention of the exploding harpoon gun around 1868 but before this invention was produced blue whales were often safe from whalers. This is because the blue whale is one of the fastest whales and can reach speeds of over 30 miles an hour in the waters. The blue whale was also safe from early whalers because of the cold and treacherous climates the whalers had to follow blue whales in to kill them. In addition to this the enormous size of the blue whale makes it a force to be reckoned with. Regardless of its enormous size and the rate at which it swims blue whales were still a target for whalers for some time and this has contributed to the dwindling population of blue whales. A single whale can produce up to 120 barrels of oil and this made it very profitable to hunt them when oil came almost exclusively from whales in times past.

Because of the large amounts of oil that a single whale could produce in 1931 the total blue whales killed numbered around 30,000 in a single season. This took a devastating toll on the whale population that is still felt today. Though the population of blue whales in on the rise many whalers still may attempt to kill blue whales. The international whaling commission put a ban on hunting blue whales in 1966 which gave the whales worldwide protection. This helped the whales a lot but as pre whaling estimates of the population of blue whales numbered over 350,000 and current estimates put the population at around 15,000 putting this law in effect sooner could have saved many thousands of whales around the world.


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