Why Do People Kill Blue Whales?

people-kill-blue-whales Credit: Mark Carwardine/Photolibrary/Getty Images

Whalers once hunted blue whales for their blubber, which was rendered into whale oil. They also hunted whales for meat. The International Whaling Commission banned commercial hunting of blue whales in 1966. Whaling is no longer a major threat to blue whales although they are sometimes taken in illegal hunts.

As of 2014, the hunting of other whale species continues on a limited scale by Norway, South Korea and Russia, but it's bitterly opposed by environmental groups. The Inuit peoples of Alaska, Canada and Greenland continue to hunt whales and consider whaling an integral part of their culture. Native peoples on the Indonesian islands of Lembata and Solor, the Faroe Islands, the island of Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines also hunt whales.