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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...

A life-line for the smallest dolphin of them all?

Throughout its limited range of only a 48km radius in the northern end of the Gulf of California, the vaquita has been rapidly declining in numbers due to incidental entanglement in drift nets and less than 200 are thought to survive. Not only the smallest but possibly the most critically endangered cetacean of them all, the vaquita may finally have a chance at survival. 

After several efforts to protect these little porpoises, for example the creation of a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 to protect the vaquita and their habitat, WWF reports that the Government of Mexico has taken a decisive step towards ensuring their future conservation at the same time as promoting sustainable fisheries by approving a new regulation, called an “official norm”.  As a result of this measure, over the course of the next 3 years, drift gillnets (the type of gear responsible for vaquita deaths) will be substituted for selective fishing gear that do not kill the world’s smallest porpoise yet still ensure a livelihood for local fishermen. 

This long awaited regulation will go some way to establishing shrimping standards within Mexico, determining the various fishing gears permitted in different zones in the country and ultimately protecting the smallest dolphin of them all.

Find out more information on the vaquita and the work that WDC has been supporting.