World Marine Mammal Protection Day (World Whale Day) is celebrated on February 19 and its purpose is to draw the attention of society and governments to the problems of protecting marine mammals.
The international holiday is celebrated by environmental institutions, experts in the field of environmental safety, and scientific communities. Students, lecturers at specialized universities, employees of state institutions, environmentalists, as well as public and charitable organizations join the celebrations.
World Marine Mammal Protection Day was established in 1986. The selected date is symbolic. It is timed to coincide with the entry into force of the moratorium on whale fishing. The ban was introduced on the initiative of the International Whaling Commission (IWC). It is still in force and prohibits the hunting of these mammals and the trade in their meat.
Whale fishing is permitted only to meet the needs of the indigenous population, as well as for scientific research with special permission from the IWC member governments.
There are 119 species of marine mammals preserved on the planet. Most of them are on the verge of extinction, because their destruction by humans has been going on for over 200 years.