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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...

A Hard Rock Massage

We learned last week that beluga whales are the true white whales, except when they’re babies, but they also aren’t always white as adults!  In spring and summer, when belugas start gathering in estuaries and shallow-water areas, they actually have a yellowish tint to their skin.  Belugas undergo a seasonal molt, meaning that one layer of skin is shed while a new one grows in its place.  To help with the removal of old skin (and its yellow shade), belugas will use the rocky beds of their shallow summer homes as a nice exfoliating massage, rubbing off the external layer – and getting a wonderful scratch!

Belugas in captivity still molt, but the fake substrates and materials provided in tanks are not nearly as satisfying as a good rock rub.  In the wild, molting is an important part of their seasonal migration cycle, and provides an opportunity for them to socialize and “check in” with their summer homes.

Belugas’ skin turns yellow when it is time to molt (image from The Huffington Post)

This week, we’re asking the popular restaurant chain Hard Rock Café to include belugas in their philanthropic causes.  Hard Rock says their goal is to “make the Earth a safer, healthier and better place for all,” and guides their actions by the motto “Love all, Serve all.”  WDC wants them to include belugas in their philanthropic efforts, & love all, serve all belugas, too!  Captivity is not safer, healthier, or better!

Thank you for helping keep belugas safe and free, and go get yourself a nice exfoliating massage this week – just like a beluga!