What is World Whale Day?
20th February is a very special date in our diaries. Why? Because it’s World Whale Day, a whole day dedicated to one of our favourite ocean animals.
Observed every year on the third Sunday in February, World Whale Day was first celebrated in 1980 and was established by Greg Kauffman from the Pacific Whale Foundation, who wanted to make people aware that humpback whales were facing the threat of extinction.
Each year, the Pacific Whale Foundation continues its work to raise awareness by organising the annual Maui Whale Festival, which allows people to learn about and celebrate these ocean giants.
Why is World Whale Day important?
World Whale Day is still just as relevant in 2022 as it was back in 1980 because many species of whale are sadly still endangered. For example, there are thought to be around just 50, 000 orcas left in the whole world.
This endangerment is due to a number of threats, including commercial whaling. Although this practice was banned in 1986, it continues to take place in Japan, Iceland and Norway and leads to the death of around 1000 whales per year.
Climate change is another huge threat. The increasing warmth of the ocean and subsequent melting of ice is forcing the plants and animals that whales feed on to migrate, making it increasingly difficult for whales to get enough food.
How WWF is helping whales
As always, WWF is doing great work to help save these ocean giants. In 1984, they played an integral part in convincing the world to ban commercial whaling and are still fighting for whales’ survival.
One of the ways they do this is by showing shipping companies, fishing fleets and governments the best new tools and best practices to avoid whale deaths and injuries. They also work to create whale sanctuaries, such as the Ross Sea Sanctuary off the coast of the Antarctic, and raise awareness of the need to conserve whales.
How we’re supporting them
To help WWF in the fight to protect whales, we’ve included the beautiful orca in our new set of ocean animal baby socks. Helping to protect the Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle, the sea otter, the Singapore freshwater crab and the orca, this pack contains four pairs of adorable baby socks that double-up as hand puppets and come packaged in a recyclable box that little ones can colour in. Adorable.
Head to our shop to see the socks and and protect whales in the cutest way possible.