It’s hard to believe commercial whaling still happens, isn’t it?
Commercial whaling was rampant for so long that many whale species may never recover.
In the US, the North Atlantic right whale is down to about 350 remaining individuals. The blue whales of the Antarctic are at less than 1 percent of their original population. West Pacific grey whale populations are the most endangered of the world’s great whales, hovering on the edge of extinction with only slightly more than 100 remaining.
Make No Mistake, Commercial Whaling Is Illegal
Completely separate from subsistence whaling or cultural traditions, commercial whaling was banned in international law thanks to a 1986 moratorium. But three countries—Iceland, Japan and Norway—continue to ignore this ban and kill thousands of whales every year for their meat.
Demand has dropped steadily, so the whaling industry is desperately trying to find new markets. In Japan, whale meat has been introduced into school lunches, and is even sold as dog food.