From Greenpeace; A brief history of whaling…
•1848: Whaling enters the industrial age with the invention of the exploding harpoon.
•1905: The introduction of factory ships leads to massive growth in the whaling industry.
These floating processing plants are able to decimate whale populations at the rate of
40,000 a year.
•1930: 80% of the great whale species are feared to be on the verge of extinction.
• 1946: The International Whaling Commission (IWC)
is created by the world's 14 whaling nations to manage whale stocks.
• 1972: The number of blue whales, the largest creatures on the planet, sinks to less
• 1975: Greenpeace launches its anti-whaling campaign, confronting whaling fleets on
the high seas. Faced with the grisly realities of commercial whaling, public opinion begins
to turn against the whalers.
• 1983: The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) bans international commercial trade in whale meat and confers protected
status on the world's great whales.
• 1994: Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary created to protect whales in their breeding
• 1994: Survey results show that over 5 million people go whale watching in 65 countries.
This eco-tourism is actually more profitable than commercial whaling.
• 2001: Whale watching is now a thriving industry in 87 countries, generating an income
of US$1 billion worldwide each year.
• 2001: Greenpeace confronts the Japanese fleet and films a whale being harpooned in
the Southern Oceans whale sanctuary.
• 2006: Iceland resumes whaling, although it retains it’s membership in the IWC.
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