World Whale Day is celebrated every year on the third Sunday in February and this year, it takes place on February 16. This day seeks to appreciate these aquatic creatures that are an important part of the ecosystem. It also goes beyond that and draws attention to the man-made challenges that have erupted making marine life difficult. This is due to dumping waste in our oceans, and climate change, e.t.c.
History of World Whale Day
Our big blue oceans are home to some of the most fascinating creatures, and for centuries they have been hunted for varying reasons. Now they face another challenge, which is the loss of habitat.
To this effect, in the year 1980, World Whale Day began in Maui, Hawaii, to honor the humpback whales, which used to swim off the coast of the tropical island. This day was born out of an idea by Greg Kauffman, the founder of the Pacific Whale Foundation. He wanted to raise awareness about the threat of extinction faced by humpback whales.
Since then, whales have been the main highlight of the Maui Whale Festival. This free event sees crowds flocking there to enjoy a parade that includes floats and costumed characters. The festival even sees children’s events and music from Hawaiian and international stars.
What started with raising awareness for humpback whales in Hawaii has gone beyond that now. It also seeks to promote awareness of the oceans that are not as healthy as they once used to be. There needs to be a serious call to action to make the homes of whales a safe place for them to live.
Whales are truly beautiful. The blue whale grows to 98 feet in length and is the largest whale on Earth. The smallest whale, the toothed dwarf sperm whale, grows between six feet, seven inches and eight feet, 10 inches.
Thus on this day, we must all take cognizance of this rising concern and take collection action to preserve their natural habitat.
World Whale Day timeline
People from Japan and Norway start hunting whales.
The I.W.V. places a moratorium on whaling, thus limiting the annual whale catch.
A study considers whales as a positive influence on the productivity of ocean fisheries.
A fossil of a four-legged whale is discovered in Peru.
World Whale Day FAQs
What if whales went extinct?
If not for whaling, the animals might have removed two million tons of carbon from Earth’s atmosphere. Sperm whales fight climate change without trying, and if the whale population declined to nil, there would be way too much carbon in the atmosphere.
Which is the most endangered whale?
The most endangered whale species right now is the North Atlantic right whale, with less than 400 individuals remaining.
Do whales eat humans?
Despite some reports of whales taking people into their mouths, it is rare and physically impossible for them to swallow a human.
How to Observe World Whale Day
Pledge to recycle more
Ocean life is disrupted due to man’s irresponsible manner of discarding waste into our water bodies. We don’t realize the impact it can have on marine life. On World Whale Day, take a pledge to discard your waste properly and practice more recycling so you can do your bit in making life better for whales.
Watch a documentary on whales
There is so much we don’t know about these beautiful aquatic mammals. On World Whale Day, watch a documentary on whales or marine life, and gain some insights on how you can contribute to making a safer place for them.
Participate in fundraising events for whales
Whale conservation and preservation is an ongoing process. On this day, there are many fundraising events held to raise funds to protect these mammals. If you are not in a place to financially contribute, help spread the word about these events, or volunteer to host an event.
5 Interesting Facts About Whales
While whales do shut their bodies down, only half their mind stays at rest.
Traditionally, whale vomit is used in the making of perfumes.
A whale's blowhole does not shoot out seawater.
The texture of a whale’s milk is like that of toothpaste.
Whales are singers
Humpback whales are known to sing complex songs.
Why World Whale Day is Important
Some species are endangered
Some species of whales, especially the North Atlantic right whale are endangered. There needs to be heightened conservation efforts to protect them. World Whale Day is important to bring to light the issues faced and how we can cohesively work towards saving them.
The marine environment needs preservation
Over the years, owing to climate change and the irresponsible discarding of waste and toxins, we have polluted the marine environment. This directly affects the creatures lying in the deep blue world. Humans need to wake up and pool every possible resource to take responsible action and stop taking our resources for granted.
Whales are adorable
These aquatic mammals are not only important to marine life, but they’re also simply too adorable. How can we not realize we are putting them in danger with our actions? We need to save the homes of whales and make this planet habitable for every living being.
World Whale Day dates