Who catches whales today?
All commercial whaling was completely banned by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) from 1986. The IWC permits the catching of some whale species through so-called traditional whaling and whaling for scientific purposes. The IWC registered the following numbers of caught whales 2007/2008:
St. Vincent 1
Not registered by the IWC (Source: wikipedia.org)
The Faroe Islands 856 pilot whales (2006)
Japan 1,500 dolphins (2004)
Norwegian Coastal Whaling
Norway has not complied with the decision made by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to ban all commercial whaling from 1986. The Norwegian authorities set a yearly catching quota for the minke whale. 500-1,000 minke whales are caught each year through Norwegian coastal whaling. Researchers do not believe this catch is a threat to the population. The Fisheries Department
describes the minke whale catch as part of Norwegian catching traditions.
What threatens the whales today?
In areas with heavy shipping traffic, whales die after collisions with ships and they get caught in fishing equipment and drown. In addition, the areas where whales live are affected by pollution and increases in the temperature of the sea. The photo shows a dead whale
with propeller marks and a punctured lung.
Which whale species are under threat of extinction?
Since commercial whaling ended around 1970, some of the species have increased in numbers, but many are still under the threat of extinction. Among them are: the blue whale, the sei whale, the grey whale, the right whale, the humpback whale, the narwhal and a number of species of dolphin (From IUCN Red List 2009