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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...
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...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
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...

The Blackfish Effect

Many presentations this week have focused on orca captivity and the overall Blackfish effect – the name that has been given to the growing interest in ending captivity and the “turning of the tide” against SeaWorld and other captive facilities.  There is general agreement among the presenters and attendees at Superpod that the documentary came along at just the right time to bring awareness to the issue and catch the public’s attention in a way that advocates have struggled to do ever since the first orca was brought into captivity.

So now the question is: Where do we go from here? How do we continue the momentum and keep up the fight to end captivity?  I am asking myself these questions quite often as we focus on how far we’ve come in just a few years with this fight, and the advocates at Superpod have no shortage of answers.  Even those who have been working to end captivity for years say that they are inspired anew by the Blackfish effect and are all aglow with excitement at the possibilities and potential for continuing the fight.

The movement has even reached as far as Capitol Hill, with the introduction of bills to ban orca captivity in California and New York.  Representative Adam Schiff, who introduced the bill in California, made this speech yesterday (coincidentally right in the middle of Superpod week!) addressing the Blackfish effect and his support for ending captive display of orcas.  Political action is one of the best avenues for ending captivity – changing the laws will create progressive solutions and make it illegal to hold intelligent whales and dolphins in captive facilities.

Demonstrations and direct actions are also great ways to maintain the momentum and spread awareness of the reality of captivity.  Empty the Tanks Worldwide is an amazing movement that organizes protests at Oceanariums all over the world on a single day, bringing global attention to the cause.  I had the pleasure of meeting the founder of the movement here at Superpod, and she is gearing up for adding even more countries in 2015.

Superpod is all about sharing knowledge, ideas, and inspiration, and there is no shortage of ideas here this week, on how to continue to fight captivity, how to further protections in the wild, and how to keep orcas wild and free for the next generation of activists!