Happy World Whale Day! Giants of the ocean are celebrated on World Whale Day, 20 February, which aims to raise awareness of these magnificent creatures, their beauty as well as their ecological value to the planet.
The annual day, World Whale Day, was founded in Maui, Hawaii in 1980 to honor humpback whales, which swim off of the coast of this tropical island. This day was started as an idea by Greg Kauffman, founder of the Pacific Whale Foundation, to raise awareness about the threat of extinction faced by humpback whales.
These delightful creatures have become the main showcase of the Maui Whale Festival. Every year, crowds flock to the island to join in the free all-day event, organized by the Pacific Whale Foundation. The fun starts with a parade including floats, costumed characters and children’s events, plus music from Hawaiian and international stars.
But Whale Day isn’t just about those humpbacks who are in Hawaii. Whales inhabit all of the earth’s oceans and, sadly, the oceans are not as healthy today as they once were. What used to be a lovely place for our whale friends to live has become polluted by toxic materials such as chemicals, oil spills, plastic litter and industrial waste that is a threat to the whale populations of today and the future.
Along the South American South Atlantic coast including the Falklands and South Georgia Island there are several habitats of these wonderful marine mammals as they migrate in search of food, mating and quieter waters for calving. Sightseeing outposts and a booming tourism industry has been built around their annual rotation track, as well as designated Marine Protected Areas for their conservation. A huge difference since several species were hunted to almost extinction to provide for oil as fuel and food in several countries.