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Why Are Many Whales Endangered?

Image dated 1880 - Cutting in a Humpback Whale at Provincetown, Mass.

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 or

Fast Fact:
A baiji

The world’s most endangered cetacean is the Chinese river dolphin or baiji.

Why Are Many Whales Endangered?

Photograph of Baiji © Copyright 2001, Cetacean Society International, Inc. Whaling image courtesy of the Photo Library of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce.

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