Celebrating World Whale Day!
Wednesday, 17 Feb, 2021
World Whale Day is a time to appreciate these extraordinary ocean giants, celebrate our past victories and ongoing work for whales, and raise awareness about the threats they face. In 2021, Sea Shepherd is celebrating World Whale Day with stories of resilience.
Despite a global moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan continued whaling, under the guise of conducting scientific research, until Sea Shepherd exposed their cruelty and intervened with eleven Antarctic Whale Defence Campaigns that saved the lives of over 6000 whales. In 2018, the mounting pressure forced them to stop whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary,
Thanks to the Sea Shepherd movement, all whales are now protected from whaling in international waters!
One year ago, following an incredible upswell of opposition and the success of our campaign to protect the Great Australian Bight: Operation Jeedara, oil-giant Equinor abandoned its risky plans to drill for oil in the Bight! So - for now - the world's most significant Souther right whale nursery is safe from drilling.
Our Apex Harmony Campaign has been fighting for the removal of shark nets from whale migration paths during their journey up the East Coast to have their calves in warmer waters. In 2020, Django aka ‘Tinny Man’, jumped off his boat to rescue a whale entangled in a shark net.
In Novermber 2020, researchers working with Sea Shepherd discovered a suspected previously unknown species of whale off the western coast of Mexico.
During the research mission, scientists working onboard the M/Y Martin Sheen captured footage of the unidentified whale species, highlighting how much mystery there is left to discover in the ocean.
Each year, more than 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed as bycatch to industrial fishing and especially IUU fishing, that often uses banned and incredibly damaging methods.
Sea Shepherd is working with national authorities and regional partners to combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated -- aka "IUU" -- fishing, and fisheries crime in African waters that provide vital habitat for whales. In 2016, the crew of the M/V Bob Barker helped authorities to release a rare Bryde's whale trapped in an industrial purse seine fishing net.
These stories of compassion and resilience are what make our community strong.
As a nation surrounded by water, whales are part of our family. The Great Australian Bight is home to the world’s largest southern right whale nursery; humpback whales bring joy to thousands of people each year as they migrate along the coastlines; in 2020, blue whales were spotted in a rare sighting off the East Coast; and a group of humpbacks got our attention when they visited Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory.
However, as much as we love whales, we can’t ignore the long, and sometimes dark, history of our relationship with these incredible species. At the height of commercial whaling, many species of whale were hunted to the brink of extinction. To support their continuing recovery, we must continue to defend, conserve and protect these magnificent animals.
Support our critical work protecting whales by making a donation today.