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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...

San Francisco recognises whales’ and dolphins’ right to freedom

Reports are emerging of a landmark resolution passed this week by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors recognising whales’ and dolphins’ right to freedom from captivity.

According to reports the resolution states that whales and dolphins deserve ‘to be free of captivity, and to remain unrestricted in their natural environment’. The resolution was championed by Commissioner Russell Tenofsky and backed by both San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener, Dr Lori Marino and sponsored by Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.

An earlier initiative known as the Malibu proclamation, which reflects the sentiments outlined in the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: whales and dolphins provides another great example of progressive thinking at the local level. This may provide a future example of how the principles of the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans may be implemented at the municipal or state level.

With Sea World shares and popularity plummeting, this great news from San Francisco, the Malibu proclamation and even the Indian Government citing the intelligence and sentience of dolphins as a reason to ban any future development of dolphinaira, is this the death knell of the cetacean captivity industry finally tolling?

Meanwhile, in a truly ground-breaking case the Non-human Rights Project are awaiting the outcome of an appeal court hearing for the chimpanzee known as Tommy. They argue, using the scientific evidence, that he should be recognised by the court as a legal person and that he should be granted the right to bodily liberty and integrity and given sanctuary from the tiny cage in which he resides.

The decision on Tommy’s case is expected within the next four to six weeks.  WDC is working with the Non-human Rights Project to see how similar cases for whales and dolphins in captivity might one day be heard in US courts.




Follow the ongoing campaign for whale and dolphin rights with WDC.