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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...

Under The Skin…

We are into the bottlenose dolphin calving season up here in the Moray Firth and I often get asked about the discoloured, sometimes unsightly marks and blotches that often appear on young (and not so young) dolphins skin. These skin “lesions” as they are called appear to take on many different “types”, colours and shapes – both on adult dolphins and more noticeably on youngsters that have much paler skin. In the case of ID#1168, the not quite year old calf of ID#744 “Bonnie” in the photo below, he or she has lots of little markings here and there over all the body surface but there is a large grey patch on the rear flank that is more easily seen. This patch is already beginning to vanish compared to earlier photos as are other marks and so is the yellow staining on the dorsal fin and around the mouth. We often find that after a year or two the young dolphin looks much “cleaner” and we believe that skin lesions are not painful or irritating but are just something that these dolphins live with throughout their lives. Their skin has a tough environment to cope with – very cold water, differing salinities, sustaining tooth rake and bite marks from each other and collision damage plus bacterial infection too.  photo ID1168BonniesCalf.jpg Best Wishes, Charlie.