World Whale Day aims to raise awareness of these magnificent creatures. The annual holiday was founded in Maui, Hawaii, in 1980, to honour humpback whales, which swim off its coast. It’s the main showcase of the Maui Whale Festival. Every year, crowds flock to the island to join in the free all-day event, organised by the Pacific Whale Foundation. Pacific Whale Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1980 to save whales from extinction.
Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat, oil, and blubber. Contemporary whaling is subject to intense debate. Pro-whaling countries, notably Japan, Norway, and Iceland, wish to lift the ban on certain whale stocks for hunting. Anti-whaling countries and environmental groups oppose lifting the ban. While the debate still goes on whether or not whaling should be illegal, many environmentalists say that unless it is stopped, whales could go extinct in the near future.
As part of the effort to fight whaling worldwide, Pacific Whale Foundation is a member of the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee and has been an invited guest speaker at conferences and training programs worldwide that advocate responsible and sustainable whale and dolphin watching.