This situation is truly the case that humans are an apex predator. This they do through ignorance, not appreciating the whales are sentient beings like themselves and are in a special class, so they really should be off-limits to predation in the same way most human beings do not advocate or condone hunting and killing other primate species. Although they may be exploited for other purposes, that, too, is another story and a less than enlightened perspective on the part of the human. But the whales see their situation with a deeper understanding than might be the case for human, and that is because the whales are better connected with the divine realm and so they understand more clearly their role in things and their place within the biosphere, that it will create pressures of their own as well as provide opportunities to improve on existing conditions as well as attending to the karmic history personally.
So whales are more in tune with who they are, with their true purpose, and see humans as a kind of mixed blessing, understanding and appreciating they are a part of things and so will be encountered, and largely accepting their fate. They do not wish to be hunted and killed but do understand and accept that if it happens it is serving a benefit for a fellow species, and they see this as a worthwhile exchange knowing that death is not to be feared. They do not go out of their way to risk death nor seek it but are not living in fear of human beings in the same way that humans would be if the roles were reversed. This all stems from the fact that whales are in better divine alignment than human beings are at the present time because of the state of your world and the human defects that have been introduced by extraterrestrial manipulation.