Whalers in Provincetown, Massachusetts, 1880
Whales have been an important part of peoples lives for thousands of years. They provide meat, fat, oil, leather, tools, and other materials for making useful, needed things. Unfortunately, human activity has caused many whale populations to plummet. Out of the 11 species of great whales, seven are listed as endangered or vulnerable in Canada (for a complete list of species at risk in Canada, go to http://www.speciesatrisk.gc.ca/Species/English/SearchRequest.cfm or http://www.cosewic.gc.ca).
The worlds most endangered cetacean is the Chinese river dolphin or baiji.