Help Save the Whales
Whales have been hunted by humans for centuries, all across the planet. Yet it wasn’t until the late 18th century that whaling began to have a more significant impact on global whale populations. This was due in large part to the advent of the Industrial Revolution across Western Europe and the United States, as machines and factories began to replace hand production.
Whale oil, obtained from the blubber of whales, was in great demand as both a lubricant to ensure the smooth operation of all of these new machines and factories, and also as an illuminant to light the homes and streets of the 18th and 19th centuries. Whales were also exploited for a variety of other goods and materials, including soap, perfume, clothing, fishing hooks and whale meat.
In the 19th century, advances in technology such as the development of exploding harpoons and steam-powered ships allowed whalers to exploit richer whaling grounds and kill more whales. In the early 20th century, these technological advancements opened up the massive stocks of whales in the southern ocean to exploitation.
Today, whales are more threatened than ever.
Your donation will help support our various programs to protect the whales, such as:
SnotBot® is a modified consumer drone, which flies through the blow of a whale and collects exhaled “snot” on petri dishes. This blow contains a treasure trove of valuable biological information: DNA, stress and pregnancy hormones, microbiomes, and potentially many other biological compounds/indicators of the animal’s health and ecology. Best of all, the whale doesn’t even know we are there: This is a non-invasive tool that is safer for the animals and cheaper and more effective for the user.
Entanglement in fishing gear is one of the biggest killers of marine mammals worldwide. A 2006 study estimated that over 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises (all part of the same whale family, Cetacea) are killed annually after becoming caught in fishing gear. The efforts of our disentanglement response teams are imperative to the long-term survival of right whales and many other species.
For 50 years, Ocean Alliance has studied a population of right whales that uses the bays of Península Valdés as a nursery ground–working closely for the past 15 years with our sister organization, Instituto de Conservación de Ballenas (ICB), in Argentina. It is the longest continuous study of any great whale based on known individuals.