Whaling in the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean
Before the Moratorium was put into action, commercial whaling was not banned. This had meant that whalers could take voyages and hunt many whales at a time. However, many factors at the time contributed to limiting whaling at times while others caused the business to boom. In this section we will be looking at the rises and drops in the trend-line for whaling in the Northern and Southern Pacific Ocean and why.
Figure 1, Source: "Whales, Whaling and Ecosystems"
The graph above shows the number of great whales caught per year in the northern hemisphere from 1910 to the 1980s. Up until 1940 there was very little whaling but due to food shortages during World War II whaling in the Northern Pacific had increased. However it was when World War II concluded that the rising trends of commercial whaling began. This rise kept on increasing until the mid 1960s where we see the trend line hit an all time peak before a steep drop in the amount of great whales caught annually. This was due to a drastic limitation on the quota for whaling from the commission as they had all 12 votes of their members as well as the decline in whale population. As seen on the graph, by the 1980s and onward very little whales were being caught annually in the Northern Pacific compared to before.
Figure 2, Source: "Whales, Whaling and Ecosystems"
The graph above shows the number of great whales caught per year in the southern hemisphere from 1910 through to the 1980's. Starting from 1900 until 1935 there is a continuous rise, especially from 1937 to 1938 because of continuing rise in the number of whalers within the Antarctic with it reaching the largest amount of whalers to date. However soon after that rise we see that the number of whales being caught annually plummets to being close to zero in 1940 due to the majority of whaling coming to a halt because of World War II which had begun in 1939. This gave time for the whale populations to recover, but it wasn't long before the trend line starts rising again. This is because many countries at the time such as Japan and Norway had hunted whales as a source of protein due to the lack of food in the war. And by the time the war had ended, whaling had only boomed as whalers had now hunted more whales than ever in an economic industry that was prospering after the war. However from the 1960's onward the annual catches began to decline due the the limited quotas with the main one in 1965 where 5 floating factories including 2 from Norway, 2 from Japan and 1 from Russia on top of the 44 whale catchers were withdrawn from Antarctica. As well as the steadily decreasing population of whales from the many years of whaling over a sustainable amount had also caused a less successful annual catch rate to what it use to be.