Due to whaling and pollution, the humpback whale population has been fragile... but things might be changing! We're so happy to hear our favourite ocean creatures are on the rise, especially in Australia and new Zealand.
The world population of humpback whales is now around 80,000 up from a low point of 10,000-15,000 so a huge rebound. Whaling has had a huge impact on the population and it was decimated in the 19th and early 20th century. A lot of whaling happened right here in Australia with one whaling station being close to Eden on the NSW South Coast. If you visit Eden now there is a lot of history about the past.
Humpback whales were one of the first species protected under the Endangered Species Conservation Act, the predecessor of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1970. When the ESA was passed in 1973, the humpback whale was listed as endangered wherever found. Humpback whales are also protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
These protections have really helped the humpack whale population make a comeback.
Every year for the past 21 years ORRCA (Organisation for the Rescue and Research of Cetaceans in Australia) has hosted a whale census to help track the population of whales across Australia & New Zealand? They have seen an increase in the last few years so a great result.
The data collected is analysed by ORRCA to understand more about the species including their population growth levels, and how to best protect them now and into the future through measures such as sustainable fishing practices, and public education.
Although this is positive news we need to do more. We need to prevent plastic pollution from entering our oceans. Be mindful of where you dispose your waste, reuse where you can, reduce your consumption and tread lightly so we are less impactful on our planet.
Flora & Fauna acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.