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The Blue Whale is endangered and only 10,000 to 25,000 are thought to remain in the world's oceans. In the 1900s they were aggressively hunted for whale oil, which nearly drove them to extinction. One 90-foot Blue Whale could yield up to 120 barrels of oil. Almost too late, in 1966, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) placed them under worldwide protection. The World Conservation Union has also listed them on the Red List. Unfortunately, population recovery has been extremely slow. Only in the last few years have there been signs of the numbers increasing. Pre-whaling estimates numbered the Blue Whale population at 350,000, but up to 99% of the species were killed during the whaling era.