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WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

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We need whale poo ? WDC NA

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Humpback whale underwater

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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

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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...

The pilot whale slaughter that also raises serious human health concerns

Once again, more pilot whales have been slaughtered in the Faroes. This time 43 whales have been killed in the first hunt of the season on the Islands. The whales were driven to shore and killed in the bay of the Faroese village Hvannasund. A total of 508 pilot whales had been killed in 2015.

The annual drive hunts on the Faroe Islands raise serious human health, animal welfare and conservation concerns. Pilot whales are very social animals and suffer severely when having to witness their family members being driven and killed. Once driven to the shore, blunt-ended metal hooks inserted into their blowholes are used to drag the whales up the beach or in the shallows, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels.

In recent WDC´s campaigning against the hunts has taken a lower profile in the belief that overt and vociferous public pressure has only encouraged the hunts to continue and actually increase in response to public outcry. However, WDC´s more recent engagement with communities and authorities in the Faroe Islands has shown some potentially promising ways forward as we continue to seek solutions through a better understanding of these practices, and engagement with likeminded grassroots coalitions in the Faroe Islands.  No level of hunting is acceptable to WDC, and we continue to seek new ways to stop this practice.    

WDC is aware of a growing sentiment against the hunts within the Faroes Islands themselves, and believes that supporting this movement from within the country is the most sustainable approach for the longer term. 

WDC is supportive of several grassroots initiatives within the Faroe Islands. We are hopeful that this approach will continue to challenge current perceptions and attitudes towards pilot whales in the Faroe Islands and bring about incremental and positive change.