Over 50,000 whales a year were victim to the whaling industry by the end of the 1930s. But such extensive losses were unsustainable, and something had to be done to save the sea creatures from extinction. And so their protection came in the form of the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
As a result of the rapidly declining whale numbers, the IWC stepped in to try and stop any further commercial hunting. Whaling supporters hotly contest the ban, with countries such as Japan and Iceland appealing for legalized whaling. Others, including many animal activists, support the anti-whaling legislation.
In the absence of legalized whaling, some countries have embraced an alternative pastime to boost their economy. To be more specific, the practice of whale watching has filled a void left by the absence of the whaling sector. And this is not only sustainable but profitable too.