It wasn’t too long ago that the massive Humpback Whale was nearly extinct. At the height of commercial whaling, the whales were hunted to near annihilation when their population was 90 percent eliminated until a worldwide moratorium in 1966. Fortunately, the Humpback Whale population has recovered and their numbers continue to increase.

Today, one of the biggest threats to Humpback Whales are drift gill nets that trap them as bycatch. These large fishing nets aim to capture smaller fish, but often unintentionally entangle whales, sharks, dolphins, and other marine mammals. This is devastating because it not only hurts this incredible species that has fought its way back from near-extinction, but breaks the eternal bond these families have with each other.

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Like all mammals, Humpback Whales form incredible relationships with their families. During courtship, males compose intricate songs to attract females and parents form lasting bonds with their baby calves. They are highly emotional and loving creatures, as seen in this touching underwater photograph of a baby calf with its mother.

A mother Humpback Whale with its calf shows that love comes in the biggest packages.

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Seeing this photo, it is undeniable that the love between a mother and child is universal. We’re not so different from these giant whales and we have the power in our hands to protect them. To help save whales from dangerous threats, click here, or, join Oceana and sign their petition to keep drift gillnets out of the water and protect endangered whale species.

Image source: Steve Hinezynski/Oceana

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