Humpback whales have made a comeback in Brazil decades after been nearly wiped out and slaughtered for their blubber, Reuters reported.
A few decades ago, a population of only 300 to 500 humpback whales survived in the country, scientist Jose Truda Palazzo, who works at the Humpback Whale Institute in the state of Bahia, told the news agency.
But in the 1980s, legal protections were put in place to prevent further killings, and since then, the whales have repopulated, with population size having grown to about 30,000 in 2022.
Many of the creatures are going back to their original breeding grounds along the coast, Palazzo added.
The increase in the population of humpbacks is a positive sign not just for Brazil but also worldwide.
“”It is a good sign that marine species will be able to recover if they are protected effectively,” Palazzo said.
The effort to track the whale population is supported by “citizen scientists,” non-professionals with a passion for science who support the work of the scientific community.
In the South-East of Brazil, the project “Baleia a Vista” was founded in 2015 by volunteers with the aim of reporting whale sightings.
“People became crazy, it’s like an addiction. It was like an addiction to see the whales. Julio Cardoso is one of the project’s founders.