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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...

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.