Once widely feared, killer whales are now far better understood than they were only three decades ago. But today there is a growing concern for their future. Pollution, overfishing, boat traffic and other human activities all pose a threat to the whales and their fragile marine environment.

Forty years ago, killer whales were widely feared and largely misunderstood. Fisherman and mariners often shot at them on sight due to the misconception that these animals posed a threat to their livelihoods and were a danger to humans. With the introduction of killer whales into aquariums and oceanariums in the 1960’s and 70’s public perception began to change rapidly.  They were no longer thought of as ferocious beasts but rather as intelligent, sensitive and inquisitive creatures.  This new perception helped stimulate research on wild killer whales and led to the species’ protection from shooting and deliberate harassment. Today, however, we are threatening killer whales in new ways. Over-fishing, pollution, increased boat traffic and other human activities all pose a threat to whales and their fragile environment.


Click here to learn more about threats facing killer whales and what you can do to help.