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Hopes raised for whale and dolphin protection after last minute landmark nature agreement

WDC's Ed Goodall (far right) at COP15 with Thérèse Coffey (centre) UK Secretary of State...

WDC orca champion picks up award

Beatrice Whishart MSP picks up her Nature Champion award The Scottish Environment LINK, an organisation...

Large number of dolphins moved to Abu Dhabi marine park

Up to 24 captive bottlenose dolphins have reportedly been sent to a new SeaWorld theme...

Success! Removal of last river dams to help threatened orcas in the US

Great news has emerged from the US concerning our work to protect the endangered orca...

WDC supports US authorities in beluga whale legal case

WDC, the Animal Welfare Institute, Earth Island Institute, and Cetacean Society International have filed a motion to intervene in defense of the National Marine Fisheries Service’s (NMFS) August 2013 decision to deny Georgia Aquarium’s request for a permit to import 18 beluga whales from Russia for public display. Our organizations strongly support NMFS’s determination, and we are disappointed that Georgia Aquarium has chosen to continue this ill-conceived effort.

The US Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) only allows marine mammals to be imported for the purpose of public display if a specific process is followed and explicit criteria are met. NMFS cited three reasons for denying the permit request under the MMPA:

• The agency could not determine that the import, by itself or in combination with other activities, would not have a significant adverse impact on the Russian stock of belugas from which the 18 whales were taken, given the stock’s “steady and significant decline over the past two decades” caused in part by the “ongoing live-capture trade since 1989.”
• The import would likely result in the capture of additional belugas from this stock, beyond those covered by the permit, because “issuance of this permit would contribute to the demand to capture belugas from this stock for the purpose of public display worldwide.”
• Five of the beluga whales—estimated to be approximately 1.5 years old at the time of capture—were potentially still nursing and not yet independent at the time of capture.

We now await the district court’s ruling on our motion to intervene.