Maori in New Zealand: Indigenous people declare whales to be legal persons. High-ranking indigenous representatives have now taken symbolic protective measures.

Whales are threatened not only by climate change, pollution, noise or collisions with ships, but also by commercial whaling. Species such as the blue whale, the bowhead whale and the Western Pacific gray whale are already considered critically endangered and are at risk of soon becoming extinct. The decline in their populations is disrupting the delicate balance on which all life in the Pacific is based.