Humpback whales are making a comeback in Brazil after decades of mass killings

July 31, 2023
Humpback whales in Brazilian waters. Photo: The Jerusalem Post

The resurgence of humpback whales is a testament to the success of conservation efforts in Brazil

Citizen scientists in Brazil have recently witnessed a remarkable sight: the return of humpback whales to their waters after decades of mass killings. The whales, which were once hunted to near extinction, have been spotted in increasing numbers off the coast of Brazil since the early 2000s.

The resurgence of humpback whales is a testament to the success of conservation efforts in Brazil. In the 1950s and 1960s, thousands of humpbacks were killed for their oil and meat, leading to a dramatic decline in their population.

However, in 1986, Brazil declared a ban on whaling and began to protect its whale populations. Since then, conservationists have worked hard to restore the species’ numbers.

The efforts appear to be paying off. Citizen scientists from all over Brazil are now reporting sightings of humpback whales in increasing numbers. The whales are seen feeding on krill and other small fish near shorelines and even swimming close enough for people to observe them from boats or beaches.

According to a new study, the population of humpback whales in Brazil has grown from just a few hundred individuals to more than 10,000 today. The researchers used aerial surveys and acoustic recordings to track the whales over a period of 15 years. They found that the population had increased by an average of 7% each year since 2003.

This is an encouraging sign that these majestic creatures are making a comeback after decades of being hunted nearly to extinction. The return of humpback whales is also having an economic impact on local communities as whale watching has become a popular tourist activity.

Tourists flock to coastal towns hoping for a glimpse at these majestic creatures, bringing much-needed revenue into local economies.

The return of humpback whales is an inspiring reminder that conservation efforts can be successful if given enough time and resources. It is also a reminder that we must continue our efforts to protect these animals so that future generations can enjoy them as well.

Tatiana Cesso

As a journalist, I've made it my mission to explore and share stories that inspire, inform, and entertain. You may have stumbled upon my work in esteemed publications such as InStyle, Marie Claire, Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Vogue, among others. Having called the U.S. home since 2010, I've lived in Chicago, LA, and currently, Miami. But my heart always beats to the rhythm of Brazil. It's where I was born and raised, and my love for its culture, people, and energy knows no bounds. To share this passion, I've founded Brazilcore, a platform aimed at bridging the gap between Brazil and English speakers worldwide.

Don't Miss

tragedy rio grande do sul brazil

How to help the victims of Rio Grande do Sul flooding from outside Brazil

Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, is facing its worst flood

Drones light up NYC sky with Brazil’s Amazon rainforest

The goal is to draw attention to the cause days

Afuá: A Car-Free Town in the Amazon Leads the Way to Net Zero Emissions

In the heart of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, a small town