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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...

A Vancouver future free of whale and dolphin captivity?

On the 31st July 2014, something historic happened in Vancouver, Canada. At a special meeting organised to focus on the captivity of whales and dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium, the Vancouver Park Board voted unanimously in favour of an end to captive breeding at the aquarium. The Board has now directed its staff to bring forward an amendment to the park bylaw that regulates activity at the aquarium, that would prohibit breeding of whales, dolphins and porpoises at the aquarium, unless they are a threatened species. The Board has also ordered the establishment of an oversight committee of experts on animal welfare, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the whales and dolphins held at the aquarium, which includes belugas, Pacific white-sided dolphins and harbour porpoises. It also asked the aquarium to investigate alternatives to whale and dolphin captive displays. 

The aquarium has long been the subject of intense criticism over its incarceration of whales and dolphins and this decision follows recent statements from Vancouver’s Mayor, which support the phasing out of whale and dolphin captivity at the aquarium and growing concern about the aquarium’s expansion plans and whether further belugas will be housed there. Whether these plans will be affected by the Park Board’s decision remains to be seen. 

WDC supports these efforts to phase out captivity at the Vancouver Aquarium. The Vancouver Park by-law already prohibits the import of whales and dolphins captured in the wild after September 1996 and an amendment to prohibit captive breeding should prevent further whales and dolphins being born at the aquarium to suffer a lifetime in captivity.