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Sperm whale underwater

Man arrested on suspicion of selling whale teeth

A man has been arrested by police in Oxfordshire following the discovery of a large...

Hundreds of whales killed as Norwegian hunt season ends

The end of the whaling season in Norway has been announced with 580 minke whales killed...

Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...

Research suggests up to three million whales were slaughtered in last century

Researchers in the US have released a study that estimates the number of whales killed by industrial hunting in the last century is close to three million. 

This global slaughter is thought to be the largest cull of any creature (total biomass) in human history.

The devastation is still being felt today. Some estimates indicate that the number of sperm whales is down to one-third of their pre-whaling population, and that blue whales have been depleted by up to 90%. Some species populations have begun to recover, but others  – including the North Atlantic right whale (above) – are now staring extinction in the face. 

The researchers could not put an accurate figure on the true scale of the slaughter because they could not trust some of the information provided by the whalers regarding the numbers of whales they killed.  

Find out more about the history of whaling.

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.