Threats to whales and dolphins

New threats continue to make a full recovery difficult

Some good work has been done in recent decades to reverse the trend of almost inevitable extinction for some species of cetaceans.

Unfortunately, whales and dolphins continue to be threatened by:

Increasing threat of climate change

Latest research reveals that climate change is having a huge effect. Effects range from changes in sea temperature and the freshening of the seawater because of the melting of ice and increased rainfalls, to sea level rise, loss of icy polar habitats and the decline of krill populations in key areas.

Decades for populations to recover

Historically, the large-scale whaling industries of many countries devastated one species of whale after another.

Although most populations of whales have been fully protected from hunting for some time, a number of these were reduced to such very low levels that it is taking them decades to recover.

The North Atlantic right whale has not shown any signs of recovery in 15 years.

Together we can make the world's oceans safe for whales. / ©: WWF / Ogilvy Indonesia
Together we can make the world's oceans safe for whales. Learn more about WWF's work to protect whales.
© WWF / Ogilvy Indonesia

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