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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...

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.