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Hopes raised for whale and dolphin protection after last minute landmark nature agreement

WDC's Ed Goodall (far right) at COP15 with Thérèse Coffey (centre) UK Secretary of State...

WDC orca champion picks up award

Beatrice Whishart MSP picks up her Nature Champion award The Scottish Environment LINK, an organisation...

Large number of dolphins moved to Abu Dhabi marine park

Up to 24 captive bottlenose dolphins have reportedly been sent to a new SeaWorld theme...

Success! Removal of last river dams to help threatened orcas in the US

Great news has emerged from the US concerning our work to protect the endangered orca...
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  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
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Port River dolphins

New report reveals 100,000 dolphins and small whales hunted every year

When you hear the words ‘dolphin hunts’ it’s likely that you think of Japan or...

Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year. The common minke whale is the...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...

End the whale hunts! Icelandic fin whaler isolated as public mood shifts

Here’s a sight I hoped never again to witness. A boat being scrubbed and repainted...

Australian Government to block Japanese whaling proposal

Japanese Government officials have reportedly confirmed that they will propose the resumption of commercial whaling...

Pregnant whales once again a target for Japanese whalers

Figures from Japan's whaling expedition to Antarctica during the 2017/18 austral summer have revealed that...

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...

Icelandic whalers breach international law and kill iconic, protected whale by mistake

Icelandic whalers out hunting fin whales for the first time in three years appear to...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

I have to admit to bitter disappointment when I arrived in Tromsø, northern Norway, a...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

Limits on damaging fishing methods could help the economy and whales

A report issued today, and backed by WDC, states that placing proportionate limits on some types of fishing could help boost long-term jobs in fragile Scottish rural communities, as well as protect the environment.

The Scottish government is due to announce measures for managing fishing in several Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) later this month. The new report indicates that, if the government ends certain bottom-towed fishing methods (mechanical dredges and weighted demersal trawl nets) which damage protected fragile seabed habitats, there could be substantial knock-on benefits for local economies.

Over several decades the health of Scotland’s inshore seas has declined and yet, until now, there have been few attempts to manage and so allow these important inshore areas to recover.

Management proposals have been criticised in recent months, but environmental groups have carefully considered concerns expressed about the economic impacts of curtailing prawn-trawling and scallop dredging in MPAs. When considering hypothetical scenarios in which bottom-towed fishing is excluded from protected areas, the new report (commissioned by the Marine Conservation Society, MCS) concluded that rather than damaging the local economy, such measures could potentially provide substantial net benefits to coastal communities, for example by providing new opportunities for other forms of fishing and commercial marine activities.

The report authors argue that some previous analysis has not considered the major commercial significance of the “spillover effect”, where fish and shellfish stocks recover within protected areas and then move out beyond MPA boundaries, as well as allowing other activities to thrive in areas previously subjected to trawling or dredging.

Management developed specifically to protect and recover important seabed habitats would have knock-on benefits for all habitats and species below the waves, including Scotland’s largest filter-feeders, such as humpback whales, minke whales and basking sharks.