Although Antarctic whales are the largest Mammals on the planet, they are among the most threatened. Whaling operations killed off several whale species and almost killed off several more. The ban on whaling has helped whale numbers to slowly but steadily increase over the past few years.
Dispite this ban two countries still practice whaling today, namely Norway and Japan. Japan is the most active with their controversial research program that provides shale meat to shops and restaurants. Japanese whaling (catching about 400 whales a year) focuses mainly on Minke whales which they claim are not in danger.
- Blue Whale The Blue Whale (Balaenoptera Musculus) is a streamlined and slender whale, with a small dorsal located about three-quarters of the way along the back.
- Fin Whale The Fin Whale (Balaenoptera Physalus) is found throughout every ocean in the world, from the tropics to the polar regions, but is rarely seen inshore.
- Humpback Whale The Humpback Whale (Megaptera Novaeangliae) is a widely distributed species, occurring seasonally in all oceans from the Arctic to the Antarctic.
- Killer Whale The Killer Whale (Orcinus Orca) is found in all oceans and seas of the world, from the deepest waters to the coast.
- Minke Whale The Minke Whale (Balaenoptera Acutorostrata) is found from the polar ice-edge to the tropics.
- Sei Whale The Sei Whale (Balaenoptera Borealis) is found in virtually every ocean and sea in the world.
- Southern Bottlenose Whale The Southern Bottlenose Whale (Hyperoodon planifrons) is found mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, but have been known to stray as far north as the waters around Hawaii and Japan. They seem to summer around South Africa.
- Southern Right Whale Southern Right Whales (Balaena Glacialis of Australis) are found seasonally around Australia, South Africa, South America and New Zealand.
- Sperm Whale The Sperm Whale (Physeter Macrocephalus) was made famous by Herman Melville's Moby Dick, this is the species most people associate with the word 'whale'.