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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...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

Want to name an Australian baby dolphin?

I have been studying a community of some 50 resident dolphins living in the Port River estuary (Adelaide, Australia) for the past 25 years. These dolphins are perhaps the most urbanised in the whole world, living as they do almost in the heart of a city of a million people.

About twenty years ago I observed a mum with a young dolphin with a vicious looking crescent scar across its whole dorsal fin. The scar was almost certainly the result of a shark attack. Presumably the calf’s mother had somehow repelled the shark and saved the young dolphin’s life.

It is always hard finding appropriate names for newly identified dolphins but in this case it was easy: this young dolphin with the shark attack scar had to be called Scarlett.

One of the joys of conducting long term research on the same group of dolphins is watching them develop over the years. Particularly satisfying is seeing female calves grow up and have their own calves, especially when, like Scarlett, their early lives were so precarious.

Dolphins in this community mostly give birth in late summer and during a survey last week I was overjoyed to discover Scarlett with a brand new calf. This calf still has clearly defined “foetal folds”, creases in its skin from when it was squashed up in its mother’s womb during the long 12 months of gestation, indicating it is still only a few days old.

WDC Australasia is relaunching our dolphin adoption program and we have decided to give new adopters the opportunity to name Scarlett’s new baby. We will choose what we think is the best name in a few weeks.

For further information about adopting an Australian dolphin please contact our Australian office at: info.au@whales.org