Over 30,000 whales have been killed as a result of loopholes that allow some countries to continue hunting.
Ignoring the fact that whaling is inherently cruel and threatens the recovery of decimated whale populations, there is another impact being felt that which we are only just beginning to understand – whales change climate.
There is unequivocal evidence that climate change is happening and that Human activities are contributing to it. Yet at the same time, whales themselves play a key part in helping to combat this threat through their role in the marine ecosystem.
The effects of climate change may be some of the biggest threats facing whales and dolphins today. The climate is changing fast: so fast that some whale and dolphin populations may be unable to adapt.
Changes in sea temperature, freshening of seawater, acidification, sea level rise, loss of icy polar habitats and the decline of food sources are just some of the many issues posed by climate change.
Climate change is expected to affect whales, dolphins and porpoises mainly through the loss of habitat, changes in prey availability, potential increased competition from range expansions of other species.
The potential impacts include changes in abundance, distribution, timing and range of migration, prey abundance and distribution, and reproductive success and ultimately survival.
It is unclear to what extent whales, dolphins and porpoises will be able to adapt to the rate of climate change predicted, in some cases such range shifts will not be possible.
There are some indications that some cetaceans are already being significantly affected by climate change and to protect them and indeed to protect all other living things, including ourselves, we need to act now.