Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
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...

Entangled Whale Watch Boat Makes National News – Entangled Whales Rarely Do

An “entangled” whale watching boat with 157 passengers on board remained at sea overnight and made national news. 

While the news originally reported that the vessel was likely snagged in lobster gear, we knew that was doubtful.  We know that large whales who get entangled in lobster gear rarely become anchored. Unfortunately, we have plenty of data to support this, including the 13 currently unresolved cases of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales entangled in fishing gear.  With only 500 right whales remaining, the loss of even one individual from human causes can jeopardize the survival of the species, yet two new cases of entanglement have already been reported this year. These entanglements can cause chronic and painful injuries. Some of these entanglements will kill the whales, but these entanglements are not making national news. We are happy that the whale watch vessel returned to Boston safely and no passenger injuries were reported.  At the same time, we hope that anyone reading about the “entangled” whale watch vessel, or those passengers that survived it, will consider the whales, whose existence depends on the reduction of this very threatWDC – NA has spent over a decade collecting data and presenting the findings collaboratively to federal policy makers to reduce and eventually eliminate this threat. Every victory has been bittersweet, because for every year it took to get a new regulation passed, at least one North Atlantic right whale died from entanglement. WDC acknowledges that no fishermen in the US is intentionally entangling whales.  Our goal is to work with fishermen, through the federally authorized Take Reduction Team process, to protect this critically endnagered species.    Support the work we are doing with a $5.00 donation.

Images collected under MMPA Research permit number 1058-1733-01 Photo credit: NOAA/NEFSC/Peter Duley

This right whale was sighted on June 29, 2014 by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Despite ongoing searches, this whale has not been relocated in order for permitted rescuers to attempt a disentanglement.  The orange noted on the whale’s body is a result of an infestation of cyamids, a sign of declining health. The line over the rostrum (face) of the whale has embedded into the whale’s head.  We believe the prognosis for this whale’s survival is poor.  Image collected under MMPA Research permit number 1058-1733-01 Photo credit: NOAA/NEFSC/Peter Duley