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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
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...

Flashback or Comeback?

Ionian Dolphin Project

Back in June I reported on the wonderful sighting by friends of WDC (the Ionian Dolphin Project) of a pod of 7 common dolphins in the waters off of Greece in the Mediterranean Sea. This was a truly remarkable and very exciting sighting as it is an area that has seen a drastic decline in numbers of common dolphins, from 150 to 15 in just over 10 years, and it had been many years since the researchers had seen any at all. However, now there is even more good news that needs to be shared.

Just the other day they encountered another group, consisting of 6 individuals (5 adults and one juvenile) and were treated to a spectacle of common dolphin exuberance – this is a species that just love to show off, play and leap out of the water. As if this wasn’t enough, preliminary results from their photo-identification work has shown that some of the dolphins are already known to the researchers and one dolphin in particular was first seen in these very waters back in 1997 … 16 years between sightings!! 

Joan Gonzalvo, Priniciple Investigator of the Ionian Dolphin Project said, “For a couple of hours it felt as if we were back in the early 90′s; as if we were back in those good old days when seeing groups of common dolphins was no surprise. While lack of prey caused by overfishing resulted in habitat loss, a decline in numbers and dispersion, common dolphins may re-colonise this area and possibly increase in numbers if timely fisheries management action is taken.”

So perhaps, for common dolphins in the Mediterranean, classified as Endangered by the IUCN, there is hope after all …!