World Whale and Dolphin Day was established in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission. This day is celebrated on July 23 as it marks the same date in 1982 when the members of the Commission voted for a complete ban on commercial whaling.
Even though the name of the celebration includes whales and dolphins, its main aim remains to attract the attention of the public, authorities and all humanity to the issues of all sea mammals’ protection. According to the data from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London’s Living Blue Planet Report, the number of sea mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and other animals living in the World Ocean has dropped to 49% in the period from 1970 to 2010. The main reasons for these unique animals’ disappearance include not only whaling but also capture for dolphinariums, aquariums and circuses.
Whales have been chosen as a symbol of “sea inhabitants” for a reason. They are very interesting creatures, which combine fish external characteristics such as fins, round steam-lined form and the smooth surface of the body, and the principles of the body internal organization, which are more characteristic for endothermic organisms like the presence of lungs, bearing and delivering babies.
The ban on whaling has already helped a lot to increase their numbers. According to the data from the sea mammals lab at the TINRO-Centre (the Pacific Science and Research Fishery Centre), the number of whales has gradually become to grow in recent years. There is a hope that in the nearest future the populations of fin and sperm whales will almost completely recover, now there are approximately 10 and 20 thousand specimens accordingly.
There is no doubt that the second symbol of the struggle for sea mammals’ protection has rightly become the dolphin, the smartest cetacean, which is included in the top ten of the most highly developed animals of the planet. Dolphins can save a drowning man, but nobody except for nature itself has ever taught them to do so. There were cases when these animals healed diseases, especially children diseases, which were not amenable to medical treatment, by a simple “communication” with the young patients. In the end, dolphins have a lot in common with humans like a similar heart structure, the mass of the brain, the body size, the presence of lungs and many other things.