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Preparations for beluga whale move to Iceland continue

Preparations for beluga whale move to Iceland continue

http://au.whales.org/2019/03/06/preparations-for-beluga-whale-move-to-iceland-continue/
Whale culture should play a part in their conservation says new international study

Whale culture should play a part in their conservation says new international study

An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, including whales, argues...
Uk trade talks with New Zealand should raise concerns about endangered dolphins

Uk trade talks with New Zealand should raise concerns about endangered dolphins

WDC is leading a coalition of organisations urging the UK government to use its trade...
Multiple belugas moved in US marine parks

Multiple belugas moved in US marine parks

Over the last month, there has been a flurry of movement between marine parks in the U.S....
Iceland to kill over two thousand fin and minke whales

Iceland to kill over two thousand fin and minke whales

The Icelandic fisheries minister has announced a new whaling quota, which will allow Icelandic whalers...
How we are working with communities to build a whale sanctuary

How we are working with communities to build a whale sanctuary

The beluga whale sanctuary is all about belugas, right? Yes of course it is, but wherever we work...
Record numbers of dolphins dead on French beaches

Record numbers of dolphins dead on French beaches

According to reports from France, huge numbers of dolphins have been washing up dead on...
Dolphinaris Arizona will no longer hold dolphins

Dolphinaris Arizona will no longer hold dolphins

A week after closing, the signs were removed from Dolphinaris Arizona as the marine park undergoes an...

Bycatch – back on the agenda

You have likely seen in the media that common dolphins are washing ashore, dead, in droves in the southwest of England this winter. Not all of them have been caught in fishing nets accidentally, but some of them have. They are washing ashore elsewhere in the north east Atlantic too, including in large numbers in France and in Ireland


Accidental entanglement in fishing gear is the biggest killer of whales, dolphins and porpoises globally. Around the world, hundreds of thousands of them suffer this horrific death every year.

There are lots of questions. How many die in fishing gear, but don’t wash ashore? How many bodies wash up, but aren’t reported? This recent paper provides some alarming evidence of the scale of our bycatch issue.   

Why does this continue to happen – decades after fisheries bycatch has been identified as being the cause of large numbers of dolphin and porpoise deaths? And importantly, what are we doing about it?

Well, the European Parliament has begun reviewing the measures it has in place to prevent these deaths under the Common Fisheries Policy. We hope that the new policy will be more robust than the one currently in place (more on this another time) – including better monitoring and mitigation, to help us to solve the bycatch issue for common dolphins and for other species. And this is what we are lobbying in Europe for. Whatever comes out of the current EU review is likely to form the basis of future UK / devolved fisheries measures to deal with whale, dolphin and porpoise bycatch.

At the same time, this important paper has been released that reminds us why it is important for management decisions surrounding marine mammals to consider the welfare of the individuals. It also describes the worrying ‘erosion’ of welfare from UK marine conservation policy, providing bycatch and noise pollution examples. 

We need a more compassionate approach to management of our seas and its inhabitants. In conclusion, the paper states that we need “to work together to develop conservation policies and practice based on the best available science (and knowledge, generally). Such a development would, among other things, ensure that animal welfare becomes an integral part of decision-making in modern conservation practice.” I couldn’t agree more.  

You can play your part in helping to stop these needless deaths in UK waters. In the coming weeks, we will be launching a major new campaign. To be first to find out how you can help, sign up to our email newsletter.

Thanks to Blue Planet Society for alerting us to the French and Irish news pieces.