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Save the Whales Movement

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the modernization of whaling methods, such as the invention of the explosive harpoon, powered catching vessels, and factory ships led to an explosion of commercial whaling activity. As the numbers of whales killed grew and species of whales declined, the public began to take an interest in these animals. Starting in the 1940s, articles and pictures appeared in popular magazines on whales and their unique appearance and behaviors. The whaling nations noted that whale numbers were starting to decline and concerns about the impacts of this on the industry and a need to manage catches led to the establishment of the Convention on the Regulation of Whaling in 1931, and the International Whaling Commission in 1946.

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