On September 3rd, most species of the humpback whale were taken off the endangered species list. The humpback has been on the list since the 1970s so it is amazing news to hear. Hunting was the main reason that the whales were on the endangered species list. Industrial sized ships would hunt them for their meat and oil. The whales have made a huge comeback. Of the 14 species of humpback whales, 9 of them have been taken off the list.
A Hawaii fishing group seemed to spot a difference in the number of the whales three years ago. The Hawaii Fisherman’s Alliance for Conservation and Tradition said they saw an increase of humpback whales and petitioned for them to be taken off the endangered list. They wanted to world to see that ocean management seemed to be working.
Even though 9 of the 14 species have been taken off the list, many say that people should not protecting the whales. The whales can get tangled in fishing gear as they grow and they face other threats as well. Some environmentalist groups even seem to think that they shouldn’t have been taken off the endangered species list just yet.
There are good reasons why five species still remain on the endangered species list. One species is only estimated to have about 400 whales left and they are prone to getting tangled in fishing gear and getting hit by ships. Other species, that also face similar threats, are limited to about 1,000-3,200 whales. Those species will remain on the endangered species list.
It is great to hear that the majority of humpback whale species are off the endangered species list, but there is still work to be done. More than 40 years later and there is significant progress but that doesn’t mean the protection of humpbacks and other wildlife should stop. The humpback whale is a majestic creature and we can all hope that one day none of the species will be on the endangered species list.
“Most Humpback Whales Off Endangered List In ‘Ecological Success Story'”. NPR.org. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.
“Humpback Whales – BBC Documentary Excerpt”. YouTube. N. p., 2016. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.