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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...

Iceland: observations of a nation unable to decide where it stands on whales

WDC volunteer, John Faulkes, recently visited Iceland. Below, he recounts his experiences and observations of a nation unable to decide where it stands on whales.

Day 1: I woke up to an amazing sight: everything was so white and wonderful, it had been snowing!

In the afternoon, I went whale watching with Elding. Once out at sea, it started snowing – I was very excited to be whale watching in the snow. It was a great experience but further out to sea, the snow stopped and we saw white-beaked dolphins, common dolphins and 2 humpback whales.

There were over 100 people on the boat which made it difficult to get any photos, however I did get to chat to lots of people. I had my WDC jacket on and was talking to people about WDC and whales and dolphins and the whaling issue in Iceland. I was quite surprised when a crew member called me over and said the Captain had seen my WDC jacket and wanted to meet me. He was very nice and we had a great chat on way back.  In the evening, we went to see the northern lights, the most amazing sight. I have never seen so many bright green colours!

Day 2: I went to the town centre. The first shop I went into was like an off licence and I was shocked when I saw what they were selling: whale jerky. I couldn’t believe my eyes and then just behind me, there was packaged smoked whale meat. I also looked at restaurant menus and found quite a few that were selling whale meat.

Day 3. I found more restaurants with whales on the menu; however I saw a tourist shop selling a T-shirt with a picture of a whale tail saying ‘kill em all’ it was even more shocking than finding whale meat and it wasn’t just the one shop, it was also in others.    

However I did see many restaurants with ‘whale friendly’ stickers on the windows and even more not selling whale meat, which was great to see. I would highly recommend a visit to Iceland – I had an amazing time and really enjoyed myself.