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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...
Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

River dolphins observed playing with anaconda

Researchers in Bolivia recorded an unusual interaction between local rivers dolphins and an anaconda snake...

The US Navy has reported that it will bring to an end its long running programme training dolphins to detect underwater mines.

The dolphin programme, which also involves dolphins trained to keep enemy swimmers away from warships, will come to an end within the next five years with the Navy stating that it will continue to care for the 24 dolphins it holds. What that care entails is not yet clear.

As newer, high-tech anti-mine capabilities are now used by the Navy it seems the dolphins are no longer of use.

Studies suggest that almost all US Navy dolphins were taken from the wild – probably around the Gulf of Mexico. Their capture is often brutal with only the young and fit individuals removed from the pod. The result is a stressful and negative effect on the group. They are then subjected to a life in captivity unable to travel the distances that they would in the wild each day. Causes of death for US navy dolphins include infections, gastric impaction (swallowing a foreign object), pneumonia, spinal fracture and drowning.

More on dolphins in captivity