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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Sperm whale (physeter macrocephalus) Gulf of California. The tail of a sperm whale.

To protect whales, we must stop ignoring the high seas

Almost two-thirds of the ocean, or 95% of the habitable space on Earth, are sloshing...
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...

Good news for Welsh Whales and Dolphins

Here at WDC we welcome the recent news that a large wind farm that was proposed in the Irish Sea, has been withdrawn.

The Rhiannon offshore wind farm was to be situated 12 miles off the coast of Anglesey, consisting of over 400 turbines and covering an unprecedented 497 km2  – an area where there have been very few surveys to assess whale and dolphin populations, so it is hard to know how important an area it is for them.

It would have certainly impacted on bottlenose dolphins, especially the animals from the Cardigan Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) that winter off Anglesey. Risso’s dolphins could also have been impacted, including those WDC has been researching since 1999 at Bardsey Island as they potentially move between Bardsey and Isle of Man.

Harbour porpoises would have been most affected by Rhiannon, the length of the construction phase with 16 years of pile driving, would mean the development would continue over several harbour porpoise life spans. If they are disturbed they may not return after development has completed, which has happened in other areas where offshore wind farms have been developed.

We also had concerns over the lack of mitigation measures and lack of any monitoring proposals. The size of the population management units meant the assessment does not take into account local populations, migrating animals and potential barrier effects.

We continue to support the development of marine renewable energy and recommend that it is located away from critical and important areas for whales, dolphins and porpoises; and foundations that do not require pile driving are developed, to avoid negatively impacting them.