To end commercial whaling permanently, we are working to replace it with a sustainable alternative.
Commercial whaling has been banned worldwide since 1986. Still, about 1,000 whales are hunted for commercial purposes each year by three countries that oppose the ban, either ignoring it or using loopholes like “scientific whaling” to continue killing these animals.
IFAW has a comprehensive campaign to promote whale watching. We’ve already worked with partners around the world and in the whaling countries, including the Japan Whale and Dolphin Watching Council, the Ice Whale Coalition of Whale Watchers in Iceland, and the new NorWhale network in Norway, and we’re gaining momentum: in 2018, the International Whaling Commission released its own handbook about whale watching as part of its recent efforts to help that industry grow and thrive.
Whale watching is on the rise. In Iceland, the number of annual whale watchers has expanded from 30,000 in 1998 to 175,000 in 2012 to more than 300,000 last year.
In Japan, whale watching now generates more than $22 million each year.
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