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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...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

Where is Wave?

Some worrying news from WDC’s dolphin adoption programme in Adelaide, Australia…

Port River resident Wave has not been seen since mid-September and anxiety is mounting among local dolphin watchers.

Wave was sighted with a very small dead calf we suspect was still born on September 10 and, as is normal in the species, protected it for several days before abandoning it. Unfortunately, the calf’s body was never found so we have no way of knowing why it died. This death means Wave’s last three calves have all died.

The death of the calf is concern enough but Wave is very much a Port River regular so her disappearance is doubly troubling. I was out in my boat yesterday doing a survey and still no sign of her.

Wave has had an eventful life. Her first three calves all survived but when her most recent surviving calf Tallula was only a year old they both suffered extreme burn like injuries, probably bad sunburn from being stranded on a mud bank. The injuries would almost certainly have killed a terrestrial mammal but marine mammals show an amazing ability to recover from flesh wounds and both mum and calf survived. Although both their wounds healed Wave still bears the scar as an elongated white patch on her right flank.

Wave’s other claim to fame is that she learned tail walking from the late Port River matriarch Billie. Tail walking occurs from time to time in other dolphin communities but its prevalence and in the Port River appears to be unique. Several other adult females tail walk from time to time but none with the regularity displayed by Wave. If she is no more it will mean both the loss of a much loved dolphin and the possible disappearance of this spectacular behaviour. Find out more about adopting a Port River dolphin.