Gathering of 1000 fin whales seen off the Antarctic peninsular

Fin whales were driven near to extinction in these waters a century ago, yet they have returned. A huge gathering of 1000 whales is not a regular site.

Incredible site to see. If we do not restart whaling, perhaps it will be a site we see regularly in a few centuries when the population has recovered

Now before people suggest that therefore the fin whale has fully recovered, there were 3 krill fishing boats nearby – to the huge gathering was as a result of food.

Over 725,000 fin whales were caught by the whalers, and only 38,000 were left in 1997 – a 95% reduction.

There is some way to go before this could be a regular site. What is clear is that we have no idea how often this might have happened in the past, as there is little to no good scientific data pre-whaling to look at.

During the days of whaling, it is estimated that we killed about 2.9 million whales. It is hard to find a good estimate of current world whale populations but there are about 76 species of whale and dolphin, though many of these are dolphins.

As I say, there are few overarching estimates for the total number of whales currently in our oceans. However, by adding up the estimated number of a little over 1.1 million. Another thing to bare in mind, is that until the 20th century we were not particularly good at whaling – in the days of sailing ships doing the whaling it is quite possible that had we hunted all whales equally across the planet, they would have been able to cope with the losses. There is far more value in a living whale than a dead one, both in general terms and in their monetary value -whaling should never resume, though I think it will always exist in certain parts of the planet

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