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Commercial whaling in the 1800s and early 1900s significantly reduced the global humpback whale population. In 1946, commercial whaling of humpbacks was regulation by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. Then, the International Whaling Commission ended commercial whaling of humpbacks in 1966. In 1970, the humpback whale was listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act, the predecessor the Endangered Species Act (ESA). When the ESA was passed in 1973, the humpback whale was listed as endangered throughout its range. In the same year it was designated as depleted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
The North Pacific stock of the humpback whale has increased from a low of approximately 1,600 individuals in 1966 to close to 20,000 in current times.
For general information on Humpback Whale, see the Humpback Whale species profile page.