Like most whales, the humpback whale is one of the most intelligent yet gentle whales in the ocean. Dispite their large size, they couldn't even hurt a fly. However, there was a point in time that the humpback whale was seconds away from being declared "extinct."
They were a one of the primary targets for the whaling industry due to their large size and the supply they can give. When the introduction to harpoons came along, the industry was pacing it's kills at a faster rate. In the 20th century, over 200,000 humpback whales were killed in the process. The amount of humpback whales in the world went down by a whopping 90 percent. Thankfully, the International Whaling Commission put a stop to it in 1966 by banning hunting of humpback whales. Since the ban, humpback whales increased by four percent each year.
However this year, Japan wants to continue it's hunting of small baleen whales such as the humpback and the minke. While whaling has been around in Japan since the 1600s, in modern day, there has been less and less need for it.