Help Save Our Whales

Whales are a critical part of our marine ecosystems and vital to the health of ocean waters and the environment. The giant and majestic mammals help to keep thousands of species alive and thriving. They're also among some of the most intelligent of all the ocean's inhabitants.

Whales inhabit every ocean and are the largest of all the creatures living there. They range in size from 600 pounds to the colossal blue whale who can weigh over 200 tons and grow as long as a 100 feet basketball court.

As a species, whales are divided up into two categories: toothed and untoothed. Toothed whales have teeth that hunt and eat squid, seals, as well as fish. Generally, untoothed baleen whales are larger than toothed whales. Instead of teeth, these whales feed through fringed plates that strain their food and are made of a material similar to fingernails called baleen.

Whales speak using vocalizations, known as whale calls, that can actually be heard for miles under the water. These vocals are combinations of cries, howls, and moans that can be made for hours.

Marine biologists are continuing to conduct increasing numbers of research studies that will help the world learn more about whales. That's because they believe that by studying how marine mammals such as whales live in the ocean, we're able to learn what can be done to support the kind of healthy marine society that's critical to their survival. Whales help to regulate the food chain by making sure animal species aren't overpopulating in the ocean. For example, a blue whale is responsible for consuming 40 million krill a day. If there were fewer blue whales, there would likely be enormous additional numbers of krill.

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Whales haven't always been a protected species. There was a time when whales were poached and killed for oil, soap, clothing material, and transmission additives.

The whaling era was responsible for killing off several species and making others endangered. Certain countries have also been known to eat whales. If people are found to be whaling today, they can face serious jail time and monetary penalties. Despite it being illegal, people are still known to be hunting these majestic creatures in certain parts of the world. Whales still face dangers from climate change, ingesting plastic and pollution, boat impacts, and becoming accidentally trapped in nets.


Whales play an extremely important role in our ecosystem by maintaining a stable food chain and feeding other marine animals that help provide a cleaner atmosphere as well as helping growing economies increase their awareness and profitability through tourism. Whales help to regulate the food chain by making sure animal species aren't overpopulating in the ocean. An estimated minimum of 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed each year as a result of fisheries bycatch, while others succumb to a myriad of threats including shipping and habitat loss.


Dr. Christopher Clarke

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