Policymakers and economists at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have placed a substantial value on the benefits of having healthy whales in the ocean.
The report looks at the economic benefits whales provide to industries such as ecotourism, and also the environmental benefits (such as how much carbon they remove from the atmosphere by absorbing it in their bodies).
Based on both of those factors the data revealed that one great whale is worth about $2 million over the course of his or her life and, when that is then applied to all the great whales estimated to be living in the ocean today, the global great whale population is worth about $1 trillion.
The figures highlight the importance of whales and why whale hunting should end. Whales play a vital role in the marine ecosystem where they help provide up to 50% of our oxygen and combat climate change. When they die their bodies sink to the seabed, taking huge amounts of carbon with them. We need to restore their ocean environment and allow populations to recover to levels that existed before industrial scale whaling and fishing devastated the oceans.