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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...

Endangered humpback whale dies off Long Island, NY from fishing gear entanglement

Only four days ago, the Atlantic Large Whale Disentanglement Team received a report of an entangled humpback whale off Long Island.  Yesterday, that same whale was found dead.  The young female appears to have died as a result of becoming entangled in gillnetting, a gear type that NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) exempted from their latest proposed rule to reduce vertical line entanglements. NMFS ignored repeated requests by WDC and others asking the Agency to include all fixed fishing gear in their plan, including gillnetting.  Also of concern is the proposed plan does not reduce risk in the mid-Atlantic, including the waters off New York.  Instead, it simply asks for additional gear marking measures to identify the gear once the whale becomes entangled.  The plan also largely ignores humpback whale even though they remain listed as endangered in the US.  But perhaps the real tragedy is that this whale had the misfortune of dying during a US government shutdown, a time when no rules will be released to protect whales or actions taken to determine where the gear originated.   

Photo courtesy of our friends at Riverhead Foundation.