Whaling

Project Jonah Take Action Whaling

Thousands of whales and dolphins are slaughtered each year.

In the last century more than 2 million whales were killed, pushing some species to the brink of extinction.

Whilst whaling is often described as a ‘numbers game’, the whaling debate is not just about numbers and conservation, but also about animal suffering. The method used to hunt and kill whales is fundamentally and unacceptably cruel.

Why it's wrong
  • Whales are chased at sea for many miles, creating trauma for an animal not adapted to being hunted
  • Gunners fire a metre long harpoon which penetrates the whale’s body to a depth of 30cm before exploding
  • This tears the whale from within and they suffer massive injuries and shock – but not always death
  • Once on board the whale could still be alive when the dismembering starts
  • More than 1,400 whales are commercially killed each year

Given the constantly moving environment in which whales live and the sheer size and mass of their bodies, it is impossible to kill a whale humanely. Whether it’s one whale or a thousand, we believe whaling must stop on cruelty grounds alone.

Click here to access videos, read reports and find out more.


What we’ve done


Project Jonah has campaigned against commercial whaling since 1974.

In our founding year we lobbied the New Zealand Government to ban the import of all whale products. This resulted in the introduction of the Customs Import (Whale Products) Prohibition Regulations 1975 – a ban on the import of raw whale products such as meat, blubber, spermaceti wax, or any whale product in a raw state.

In 1976 we initiated a public letter writing campaign to convince our government to return to the International Whaling Commission (IWC), an international convention formed to regulate whaling. The overwhelming success of this campaign saw the New Zealand Government returning to the IWC in that same year – where today they remain one of the most vocal and effective advocates for whale welfare and conservation in the world.

Over the years we have attended New Zealand Government planning sessions and have assisted them in building their strategies in defence of whales.

Project Jonah is part of a global coalition called Whalewatch. This coalition is united by a common belief that whaling must be banned because it’s unacceptably cruel.

By working together, the Whalewatch coalition can further the recognition of whale welfare. In just over five years of working together the coalition has lobbied governments and worked within the IWC to:

  • Produce the first ever report on whale killing methods and the inherent welfare problems of modern whaling
  • Ensure that whale welfare concerns were raised by more countries at the IWC in 2007 than ever before in its history
  • Carry out the first investigation in over a decade into the methods used to kill whales by Norwegian whalers

With your help we will continue to publicise the inhumane killing practiced in the name of scientific and commercial whaling, and ensure it remains firmly on the political agenda.

The whales need your help.  Please join Project Jonah now and help give them a voice today.
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