OPS is part of an international coalition working to end whaling. Whales and dolphins (cetaceans) continue to be hunted around the globe through directed or targeted hunts, both for commercial and subsistence use.
In both regulated and unregulated small cetacean hunts which can include thousands of individuals, methods are employed which prolong suffering, often involve chase and confinement, and employ crude tools. Large whale hunts continue primarily in Norway, Iceland and Japan, and with a small hunt for humpback whales still occurring on the Island of Bequia in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Cetacean populations are, in addition to direct hunts, adversely impacted by many threats including by-catch, overfishing, ocean noise, chemical pollution, marine debris, unregulated tourism, oil and gas development, and climate change. OPS believes that whaling has no place in a modern age, and despite some populations of whales rebounding from decades of exploitation, many populations are teetering on the brink of extinction.
Furthermore, there are confirmed human health risks associated with consuming whale and dolphin products that are contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and biotoxins which have accumulated through the food chain.
Finally, whales are worth more alive than dead. Whales are ecosystem engineers that contribute to nutrient recycling in marine ecosystems, supporting phytoplankton that feeds marine life, contributes oxygen to our planet, and sequesters carbon, while also serving as carbon sinks. Whales capture carbon so efficiently that economists estimate they are worth $2 Million each in their lifetime. Through whale watching, whales generate billions worldwide.
International Whaling Commission (IWC). With our partners at SeaLegacy, OPS collected and presented over 200,000 signatures to the IWC asking Icelandic government to choose whale-watching over whale-killing.
Dolphin drive hunts. OPS is working with partners on the ground to oppose the capture, trade, and consumption of whales and dolphins in Japan, and in the Faroe Islands.
What you can do!
Support OPS’ work to end whale and dolphin hunts.
Share our campaign film, If Only, with your friends and family to fight for whales everywhere.