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Why Did the Blue Whale Become Endangered?

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 11/20/2010

The blue whale is a majestic creature that has sadly found a place on the endangered species list. Many factors have contributed to the blue whale being placed on the endangered list. Many projects are underway to try to increase the blue whale population.

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    Blue whales are large, beautiful creatures that call the ocean waters their home. It is a sad but true fact, that these beautiful mammals have been placed on the endangered species list. Why did the blue whale become endangered? Many factors have caused this mammal to be placed on the endangered species list. Mankind plays a large role in the decreased blue whale population. Efforts are currently underway to increase the blue whale population and remove them from the endangered species list.

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    The Results of Mankind

    Mankind has played a large role in the decreased population of the blue whale. Blue whales often fall victim to vessel strikes. This leaves many of the whales injured, and as a result, they later die from their injuries. Another large threat to the blue whales, which was created by mankind, are fisheries' interactions. This is a threat to the whales because they often become entangled in the fishing equipment, resulting in injury or death.

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    Other Causes

    Blue whales are also killed by acts of nature, such as moving ice. Ice can severely injure a whale, which often results in the death of the whale. Killer whales have shown to attack blue whales, leaving them fatally wounded. As the blue whales' habitats become threatened by ships, environmental changes, and other non acts of nature, many blue whales fall victim to these circumstances.

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    Whaling

    Whaling plays a huge role in the death of blue whales. Many people hunt blue whales for sport or food. Although whaling activity is illegal, many people still practice this event, causing the blue whale population to diminish.

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    Conservation Attempts

    There are many conservation attempts underway to try to replenish the blue whale population before they become extinct. The United States actively monitors the blue whale population status. Equipment is used on vessels to monitor for whales and other sea mammals. Devices are often used to try to discourage blue whales from coming near a vessel. In 1966, the protection act against commercial whaling was passed to stop the unnecessary killing of whales. With these efforts in place, the blue whale population has a chance to increase. If the efforts increase the blue whale population and the information about the threats to the endangered blue whale becomes well known, the blue whales may then be able to be removed from the endangered species list.

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    References:

    “Blue Whale" Official Protection Resources

    “Endangered Species of Cetaceans" Save the Whales