Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
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...
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...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
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...

Consent granted for 86 tidal turbines off north Scotland

A decision was made this week by the Scottish Ministers to allow a major and novel tidal array off the north coast of the Scottish mainland. WDC are supportive of responsible marine renewable energy and recognising the very serious implications of climate change for whales, dolphins and porpoises, we hope that it can become part of a more sustainable energy future.

But we have very serious concerns about the levels of uncertainty surrounding some proposed tidal developments, where predictions are made of collisions with marine mammals, but without any real life data to inform these models. Developers and scientists are really feeling their way in the dark.

WDC made a conditional objection to this tidal application. This means we objected unless specific conditions were put in place. We stated strong concerns about the huge number of turbines being placed in the water at once. We requested a precautionary approach, including that the number of turbines allowed initially be dramatically reduced, and that detailed monitoring be undertaken until impacts can be fully assessed. The developers need to demonstrate that the models they have included in their environmental impact assessments are inaccurate and that no whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals or any other of Scotlands’ amazing marine life are killed or injured in the operation of the turbines.

We made a number of other requests, including that a panel be put together to development a robust and long term monitoring strategy to be put in place and that adequate funding be made available to enable such a monitoring scheme to be implemented. We requested to be involved in this process.

Having considered the developers assessment, on the advice of Scottish Natural Heritage, the representation by WDC and many other bodies, Scottish Ministers have allowed 6 turbines to go ahead initially. The impact of these 6 turbines is to be monitored in full before Scottish Ministers agree to further stages of development.

WDC are supportive of this cautious approach to development that we hope means we will be able to rule out any impacts to whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals and other marine life. Any impacts that may occur we hope will be understood and mitigated against appropriately. The full decision can be found on the Scottish Government website here.