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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...

Richard Branson’s statement on Virgin trips to captive whale and dolphin shows – WDC responds

WDC notes with some anticipation a prompt statement of response by Sir Richard Branson to our campaign calling on him to stop Virgin’s promotion of facilities holding captive whales and dolphins. We have been asking Virgin about this issue for some time with no reply. Public pressure resulting from our campaign launch has now brought about a response.

As we noted yesterday, one of the facilities promoted by Virgin Holidays, SeaWorld, holds orcas and other whales and dolphins captured in the wild and has recently been part of the permit application by the Georgia Aquarium to import wild-caught belugas from Russia (a permit denied by the US government, but now being appealed). It would therefore be a very positive step in the right direction for SeaWorld and others to pledge not to take in wild-captured whales and dolphins. 

We interpret Sir Richard Branson’s statement as opposition to SeaWorld’s support for the proposed beluga import by Georgia Aquarium, and we would welcome confirmation from him that he agrees.

However, whale and dolphin captivity presents significant health and welfare problems for both wild-caught and captive born individuals and we would like to see these issues addressed more comprehensively by Virgin Holidays.

Captive born whales and dolphins also suffer greatly in captivity and any ABTA affiliated tour operator, including Virgin Holidays, who adheres to ABTA guidance on captive dolphin facilities should no longer be promoting them.