Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Gray whales have been hunted for thousands of years by indigenous populations along the coasts of North America and Russia. Commercial whaling for baleen, blubber, oil, and meat has occurred sporadically since 1900; however, over the past 400 years over-hunting has significantly decreased gray whale abundance. Although commercial whaling is illegal, indigenous subsistence hunting is allowed in North America and Russia. Finally, ecotourism and whale watching are important components of local economies along gray whale migratory routes.
Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; ecotourism ; research and education