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Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

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).