Whaling is bad because it causes populations to become endangered. Whaling is also cruel, as whale-hunting techniques cause whales to suffer for a significant amount of time before dying. Additionally, whales have large brains and are highly intelligent, making whale watching a more lucrative industry than whale hunting.
Gray whales in the Atlantic became extinct through whaling by the end of the 19th century. Other whale populations, listed as critically endangered in 2014, include Antarctic blue whales and gray whales in the Northwest Pacific. Fin whales, right whales and sei whales are considered endangered as well. Sperm whales are listed as vulnerable, and other whale species are dependent on conservation efforts for their survival.
Whaling rapidly depletes populations and could cause a number of whale species to become extinct entirely. Whalers use explosive harpoons, which often injure rather than kill whales, causing them to suffer for several minutes to hours before death. Because whales are so intelligent, critics of whaling claim that they should be protected and not hunted.
Because whale meat carries high levels of toxins, such as mercury, PCBs and dioxins, experts question whether it is healthy to eat. The economic efficacy of whaling is also questionable, as whale watching is a billion-dollar tourist industry. Overall, whale hunting is much less profitable and depletes the amount of whales available for observation.