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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 Return of the Rights?

Harpooned almost into extinction in the mid-1800s, critically endangered and extremely rare, the North Pacific right whale is one whale that most researchers accept they might never see. There are only between 38 and 50 North Pacific right whales left in the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean and no more than a few hundred in the world. Seeing one has been described as “winning the marine mammal lottery”, which is exactly what researcher John Ford and colleagues have just done last week off the coast of British Colombia, Canada, when they came across a lone individual North Pacific right whale whilst on survey.

Hunting of the North Pacific right whale has been banned since 1935 but illegal hunting continued into the 1960s. Although no longer an issue facing these majestic animals, they are at risk from collisions with ships and incidental entanglement in fishing gear.

 “It was a thrilling experience … We would never have imagined that we would be able to see one and it was not only exciting personally … but it was wonderful for us to be able to confirm that this species still exists,” said Ford.

The last time one of the majestic mammals was seen off the coast of B.C. was in 1951 (62 years ago).