There are about 80 species of cetaceans, which includes dolphins, porpoises and whales.
The great whale grouping includes all baleen whales and the toothed sperm whale, and range in size from 30 to 100 feet in length.
In 1994 the International Whaling Commission established a sanctuary in the waters around the Antarctic, which permanently bans whaling. However, a loophole provides exemptions for “scientific research”. As of November 2008, Japan reduced its whale take from 945 minke whales to 750. However, they did not alter their quota of 50 endangered fin whales.
Great Whale Populations (IWC population estimates)
Minke whale – 970,800
Blue whale – 2,300
Humpback whale – 63,600
Fin whale – 33,200
Gray whale – 26,420
Bowhead whale – 11,730
Right whale – 7,800
Pilot whale – 780,000