Exploitation of Humpback Whales

In the past, humans have used their knowledge of the annual humpback whale migration to a devastating advantage. Whaling stations existed on Moreton Island and at Byron Bay in the 1950s. Whaling ceased in the Southern Hemisphere in 1962, Humpback whales numbers are slowly recovering from this large-scale decimation.

It is encouraging to know, that there is an annual increase of 13.5% reported since 1990, but the Humpbacks are still the third most endangered species of all the big whales. This is something that we all hope will improve more as the years go on and as Exploitation of Humpback Whales stops.

Sperm Southern Hemisphere 1,200,000 920,000
  Northern Hemisphere 1,100,000 1,000,000
Blue Southern Hemisphere 200,000 8,000
  Northern Hemisphere 10,000 1,000
Fin Southern Hemisphere 500,000 90,000
  Northern Hemisphere 55,000 15,000
Sei Southern Hemisphere 200,000 35,000
  Northern Hemisphere 70,000 15,000
Bryde’s Southern Hemisphere 30,000 30,000
  Northern Hemisphere 60,000 60,000
Minke Southern Hemisphere 450,000 360,000
  Northern Hemisphere 150,000 120,000
Grey Southern Hemisphere
  Northern Hemisphere 25,000+ 15,000
Right Southern Hemisphere 120,000 3,000
  Northern Hemisphere 1 000
Bowhead Southern Hemisphere
  Northern Hemisphere 35,000 5,000
Humpback Southern Hemisphere 100,000 3,000
  Northern Hemisphere 20,000 6,000

(i) Original ‘ means ten best estimate of the population before intense exploitation began.

Exploitation of Humpback Whales Stopped?

Note: The above figures are an indication of stocks in the worlds oceans, however the data obtained to formulate these estimates has come under criticism from many scientific groups around the whole due to the nature of data used and their analysis.

Today, enlightened attitudes and the FIOMA legislation ensure the conservation of the species. The 1980 Whale Protection Act banned the import of whale products and goods containing whale products from 1981.

Whale Life Span: In years

Whale TypesLife Span: Years
Sperm Whales60-70 years
Blue Whales80-90 years
Fin Whales94 Years
Sei Whales70 Years
Bryde’s Whales50-70 Years
Minke Whales50 Years
Grey Whales80 Years
North Pacific Right Whales70 years
Bowhead Whales200 Years
Humpback Whales45-50 years
Killer Whales29 years
Beluga Whales35-50 Years
Short-finned Pilot Whale45 Years
Long-Finned Pilot Whale35-45 years


The website is run by myself Daniel Clarke, I’m lucky enough to have been living in Hervey Bay, for 29 years so I’m classed as a local I have seen many changes over this time. I have been running websites since early 2000 and also have a tech business in Hervey Bay.

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