News and blogs

News

Ukrainian ship's crew held after 46 porpoises die in nets

Illegally nets from a Ukrainian fishing boat have killed nearly 50 porpoises off the Crimean coast.

The porpoises died after becoming entangled in almost six miles of nets and investigators believe that were deliberately targeted for illegal export.

The crew of the trawler named YaMK-0041 was detained and the captain faces up to five years in jail if convicted of poaching.

Dead dolphin found on UK beach had swallowed rubber glove

Further evidence of the widespread plastic pollution in the ocean has emerged after a dolphin washed up on a Norfolk beach in the UK was found to have part of a rubber glove in his stomach.

A post-mortem on the dead juvenile male Risso's dolphin revealed the find after being discovered dead on Great Yarmouth South Beach.

Blue whales in New Zealand found to be genetically distinct

Blue whales have long been known to frequent the waters around New Zealand but now scientists have discovered that the whales living between the North and South islands appear to be a genetically distinct population. 

A survey in 2014 by a team from the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University identified around 50 blue whales in the South Taranaki Bight but it was unclear if these whales were just seasonal visitors or might be there on a more permanent basis.

Ukraine claims military dolphins died defending their country

Four years after requesting that Russia return dolphins trained to assist in military operations, Ukrainian officials, bizarrely, now say that the dolphins are probably dead but died after refusing to follow Russian military orders.

The dolphins, which are trained to identify underwater obstacles and mines, had been kept at the Cossack Bay aquarium in Sevastopol after falling into Russian hands when Crimea was annexed back in March 2014.

Mexico City bans dolphinariums

A new law has come into force in Mexico City that bans dolphinariums. It means that the dolphinarium based in the city, Dolphin Discovery Mundo Marino Six Flags, must now move the dolphins it holds or potentially face large fines.

The destination of any relocated dolphins must be approved by the authorities. Sadly, there are still many other locations in Mexico that hold dolphins in captivity, many offering swim-with opportunities to tourists.

Blogs

Why Carnival needs to stop exploiting dolphins

Would you believe that more than 550 dolphins are held captive in 68 facilities across Mexico and the Caribbean? These dolphins are imprisoned primarily to amuse cruise ship passengers on ‘shore excursions’. Every day, hundreds of tourists disembark the cruise ships and pour into dolphin theme parks to hug, kiss and swim with the captive dolphins.

Iceland: A new dawn for whales and dolphins?

Will 2018 be the year that I can finally visit beautiful Iceland purely as a tourist, rather than a campaigner? Maybe it’s not surprising that this fabled ‘land of fire and ice’ should offer visitors a host of contradictions, but the juxtaposition of whale watching and whale hunting in the same waters is surely one of the most logic-defying examples on the planet?

Judges to rule on Morgan's future as orca's fate returns to court

In June 2010 a young female orca was found off the coast of the Netherlands. She was malnourished and alone so she was captured under a rehabilitation and release permit. Almost eight years later Morgan, as she was named, is still in captivity. In November 2011 she was transported to the privately owned Loro Parque on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain.

What prospects for whales, dolphins and porpoises in 2018?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. Its ‘Red List of Threatened Species’ – known as ‘The Red List’ - is the most comprehensive inventory we have of species at risk.