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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...

Who is eating the dolphins in the Channel?

Its all well and good the British blaming the French for, well everything, but can the British actually believe that French fishermen are eating dolphins? Well it seems the media think so. The UK’s press ran articles a few days ago trailing that ‘dolphins had been filleted’. And this is not the first time this has happened. In the past French fishermen had quite a taste for dolphin.

As can be seen here on this old cigarette card (from 1928) the hunting of dolphins was more widespread than we would have liked to have believed. The card is too small to read here, but it actually says,

‘Dolphins often appear in the Channel and off the Cornish coast, where they are sometimes caught in nets…In France their flesh was formerly esteemed a luxury, and under the impression that it was fish, was allowed on fast days!. Dolphins, like Whales are not fishes, but mammals.’

But the question is why is it happening again? Is it just some cruel individuals, or is austerity meaning that people are doing the unthinkable or is it something else? 

We have recently seen a spread of marine bush-meat consumption across parts of the world as people hoover up remaining fish stocks, but its been a while since fishermen turned back the years in Europe. Around fifteen years ago dolphins were washed up on the Cornish coast with similar injuries. Questions were asked then of why would someone do such a thing.

Well it’s illegal and it’s immoral, and the sooner it’s stopped the better. At the same time Europe has to address the source of this problem which is the bycatch of these creatures in fishing nets. It’s no good governments saying its terrible that dolphins are dying when consumed whilst not also condemning the slaughter of these remarkable cetaceans in fishing nets.

Yes, if its proven its terrible that someone has eaten dolphin, but why were they caught in the first place?