February 18th

World Whale Day -

Updated on by

World Whale Day is an annual celebration held every third Sunday in February, aimed at advocating for the conservation of whales and their natural environments. The day focuses on raising awareness about these strikingly majestic marine animals, the crucial part they play in ensuring the balance of our planets’ oceans, and highlighting the various human-induced threats they frequently confront.

World Whale Day represents a blend of advocacy, education, and festivities that advance protection efforts worldwide.

History of World Whale Day

First introduced on February 18, 1980, World Whale Day was initiated in Maui, Hawaii. This celebratory day was part of the annual Maui Whale Festival, which is coordinated by the Pacific Whale Foundation. The primary purpose of this occasion is to shed light on the beauty and significance of whales, while also emphasizing the numerous threats they face from pollution, human activity, and climate change.

The establishment of this day of awareness was brought about by a dedicated assembly of researchers, conservation enthusiasts, and individuals committed to the plight of these sea mammals. Their collective goal was to shine a light on the pressing need to cease whaling and implement measures to prevent whales from edging closer to extinction. The festival initially aimed to put a spotlight on the annual migration of humpback whales that traverse the proximate waters of Maui.

Gradually, the effect of this initiative reached across the globe, turning World Whale Day into an international event. Today, the day is recognized and observed in numerous parts of the world, with various related events being hosted to both educate about and fundraise for the cause of whale conservation.

The festivities usually involve a combination of concerts, performances, exhibits, and educational activities. Beyond local events, individuals globally are encouraged to participate in any way they can – be it by sharing whale conservation messages on social networks, donating to conservation groups, or even symbolically adopting a whale.

World Whale Day Timeline

Whales Begin Evolution

Pakicetus, an early form of whale that lived on land in modern-day Pakistan, begins the evolutionary journey towards the marine mammals we know today.

First Blue Whales

The first predecessors of the contemporary Blue Whales, the largest animals to have ever lived, make their appearance.

Whale Hunting Begins

Early humans begin hunting whales during the Neolithic period.

Inuit Traditions

Inuit people begin developing traditions and techniques for sustainable whale hunting.

Commercial Whaling Begins in Europe

Commercial whaling begins in Basque country in Spain and France, establishing the first large-scale hunting of whales.

Commercial Whaling Ban

The IWC's moratorium on commercial whaling officially goes into effect, with some aboriginal and scientific exceptions.

Inception of World Whale Day

World Whale Day was founded in Maui, Hawaii, to increase awareness and protection of Humpback whales.

Conservation Efforts

Global efforts continue to protect and conserve whale populations around the world from threats like shipping, hunting, pollution and climate change.

Ideas to Celebrate World Whale Day

1 faq icon

Whale Watch Party

Invite loved ones for a shared viewing of whales in their natural environments beamed live on screen. This can be an enlightening and instructive experience.

2 faq icon

Ocean Clean-up Event

Let's use World Whale Day to emphasize the critical role that clean oceans play for whale survival. You can create a cleaning initiative at your local beach or river and motivate communal participation.

3 faq icon

Whale Presentation at Schools

This day could be an opportunity to teach students about the variety of whale species, their behaviors, why they are crucial to the planet's ecosystem, and the potential dangers they face. To create an active learning environment, add videos, games, and quizzes.

4 faq icon

Donation Drive for Whale Conservation

You can arrange for a collection in your local area or at your school, to raise funds for whale protection efforts. These funds can be donated to a reputable conservation organization.

5 faq icon

Whale Creation Art Contest

You could start an art competition requesting entries in the form of drawings, artistic renderings, or even sculptures depicting various whale species. This sparks creativity and raises awareness about the whale species diversity.

6 faq icon

Social Media Campaign

Swipe your way to change by using social media to post critical facts about whales and the environmental challenges they face. Encourage your network to share this information widely, to extend its reach.

8 Interesting Facts About Whales


Largest Mammals on Earth

Blue whales hold the record as the biggest creatures ever to inhabit the earth, measuring up to 100 feet. Their tongues themselves can be as hefty as the elephant.


Deep Divers

Sperm whales, in particular, are known to plunge over 2,000 feet into the ocean depths. They can stay under for 90 minutes straight.


They Nurse Their Young

Whales, much like other mammals including us, give birth to live babies and are nursed by their mothers with milk.


Long-Distance Swimmers

Many whale species undertake epic annual migrations, swimming great lengths, counted in thousands of miles, for feeding and breeding.


Their Heartbeats Can Be Heard Miles Away

You can hear a Blue whale’s heartbeat from more than two miles away. During a dive, the heartbeat can slow down to 2 beats per minute.


Long Lifespan

Many whale species boast of considerable lifespans. Bowhead whales top the list for mammalian longevity, with one even living up to an estimated 211 years.


They Don’t Sleep Like We Do

Whales’ sleep cycle is quite interesting. While resting, one half of their brain is awake which enables them to breathe and be on the alert for predators.


Their Skin Is Sensitive to Sun

Interestingly, whale skin reacts to sunlight quite like ours. Whales can get tanned under the sun and their skin can show signs of aging if they remain in warmer regions.

World Whale Day FAQs

Next World Whale Day Dates

Year Date Day
2023 February 19th Sunday
2024 February 18th Sunday
2025 February 16th Sunday
2026 February 15th Sunday
2027 February 21st Sunday
What is the pattern? Third Sunday in February

World Whale Day Word Search

  • Whales
  • Ocean
  • Conservation
  • Cetacean
  • Endangered
  • Marine