Humans used to hunt beluga whales for skin, food, and oil, but now look to them for ecotourism and entertainment.
Beluga whales were once hunted for the profit from their skin, food, and other items, such as oil. Belugas also consume many fish, especially since they travel in herds of between one hundred and a thousand, thus reducing the amount of fish fisherman can capture and promoting the hunting of beluga whales. Much of the hunting of belugas has died down since the seventies, however.
Now, because of their large social groupings, belugas provide ecotourists with entertainment.