Blue whales, a unique opportunity for marine conservation in Chile



Posted on 15 July 2005  | 
Background

During the early 1900s, the blue whale became a principal target of the whaling industry throughout the world. Approximately 330,000 - 360,000 blue whales were killed during the 20th century in the Antarctic alone and their populations were severely depleted to less than 3% or their original numbers.

To date, Southern Hemisphere blue whales can still be considered amongst the most endangered (and least known) baleen whales.

Threats

Human activities such as fishing, aquaculture, shipping traffic, military exercises and mega-projects, affect the integrity, function and sustainability of pristine ecosystems, whether it be by direct contamination, pollution, spread of introduced species, by-catch in fisheries or by the increase of maritime traffic.

The blue whales project in Chile

The Blue Whale Project seeks to develop an integrated and effective conservation strategy for the blue whale population and the marine ecosystem they depend on. The main aim of the project is to use the information obtained through scientific research to promote the implementation of conservation actions that effectively protect this population and the marine ecosystem they depend on.

Download the full factsheet from the link on the top right of this page.

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