World Whale Day was founded in Maui, Hawaii, in 1980, to honour humpback whales.
You don’t have to visit Maui to mark this special day as whales around the world need support.
How do you celebrate World Whale Day?
Many people celebrate world whale day in a number of different ways, here are a few that we think you'll love!
- Take sometime out of the day to learn about different whale species -
We have a great article about some of them here.
Whale watching is a very traditional way to celebrate - be sure to be respectful whale watchers though and if you snap a few photos and videos then do share them on social media!
Spread awareness - Use the hashtag #WorldWhaleDay2020 to share you knowledge on whales around the world.
- The Maui Whale Festive - take part in a series of inspiring events held during Maui's peak humpback whale season. For more information click here.
Do you know that threats that whales face?
Whales, being such enormous mammals are actually faced with many risks day to day. How many can you think of? We have compiled a little list below:
Collisions with ships and other marine vessels is one of the leading causes of deaths for whales such as the Northern Right Whales. Many busy fishing lanes overlap with the areas in which whales feed, breed and raise their young. When whales are swimming close to the surface they can be hard for boats to spot and once they are close enough to see them it is usually too late to change course. Tragically these ship strikes don't always kill the whales instantly but instead leaves to die a slow and painful death.
Marine debris and plastic pollution affect whales in a few different ways. From entanglement in both ghost fishing gear and fishing nets and lines that are in use to ingesting mass amounts of plastic pollution. Almost all species of whales have been found to have ingested some amount of plastic pollution, whether they have mistaken it for prey or eaten prey that has consumed the pollution. If too much builds up in their digestive system it can kill them. Whales can also find themselves tangled up in fishing gear which, tragically can lead to them drowning as they are unable to surface for air.
Around the world whaling has almost completely been stopped, with a few exceptions in Iceland, Japan and Norway. Whale hunting has a history of being heavily detrimental to many whale populations and has seen a number of different whale species enter on to the endangered list.
Changes to the climate and warming in the ocean has seen an impact on the whales food. For example whales such as Humpback and Blue have had to migrate further to find their food as the ocean currents and temperatures change, this leaves them with less time to feed and can hurt the rate that they reproduce.
There are many forms of contamination in the ocean. Chemicals are released from plastic pollution in the water, as well as toxic waste dumps and oil spills. Sometime the exposure to different chemicals will kill the whales instantly, but it can be slow and gradual, reducing the whales immunity, causing diseases or even affecting their reproductive system.
Noise pollution is a lesser known threat to whales, as they rely heavily on sounds to navigate, find food and detect danger. So the excessive noise from ships and other vessels interfere with the sonar and communication that the whales use. Extremely loud noises, such as those made when exploring for gas and oil, can even cause hearing problem for whales, some even result in haemorrhage and, eventually, death.
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