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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...
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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...

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...

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...

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...

Stand up and help remove plastic from our oceans


WDC are proud to announce our new partnership with The Whale Company, a long term supporter of WDC based in Bedfordshire, but currently in Brazil! We were delighted to hear from Carolyn, founder of The Whale Company and their new challenge to tackle plastic pollution. 

As we walked onto Prainha Beach, in Caraguatatuba, Brazil with our new paddle board under our arms, heads turned to stare in wonder and fascination. I am not sure what reaction we were expecting, but from the whispers and curious glances there was no doubt that we were creating a buzz. Our paddle board was no ordinary board; Carlos and I had spent the previous week building it out of 124 plastic bottles. It was quite a challenge and I was a little nervous about taking it out on the water. Carlos, however, had no such trepidation; he lowered the plastic bottle board into the gentle waves and jumped on enthusiastically. I had to run behind him with the camera to make sure we captured the special moment, as he paddled quickly into the distance.

Even without a fin, the board was stable and incredibly easy to manoeuver. Local stand-up paddleboard (SUP) instructors came over to have a go and before long a little crowd had gathered around us. Bewilderment turned to appreciation as we discussed why we had built a board out of plastic bottles – to raise awareness of the problems of plastic pollution in the ocean and the fact that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (World Economic Forum, 2016). Although plastic can be recycled, only 24% of the 5 million tonnes of plastic used in the UK every year is recycled or re-used (#Oneless); and 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year (National Geographic, 2015).

I created The Whale Company after discovering that plastic pollution in the ocean was killing whales and other marine wildlife. Our organic cotton Whalebags are beautiful and practical alternatives to plastic bags (and they make great beach/travel bags too). We also make flip-flops out of recycled tyres – Whaletreads. I am delighted with our new partnership with WDC – we are donating 10p from every bag to WDC. Follow the link to the bags here and get 10% off with code ‘WDC2017’.

The success of our first plastic bottle board outing has become the inspiration for our next big challenge. Launching on 8 June, World Ocean’s Day, Carlos and I will paddle 12 marathons across Europe on paddle boards made out of plastic bottles and in every location we will teach the local community how to build a plastic bottle board, taking 120 bottles out of the environment every time.

Help the Whale Company raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean and show people that SUP can be affordable for all. If you are interested in finding out more about Carolyn and Carlos’ expedition and how you can get involved, please go to www.thewhalecompany.co.uk/plastic-bottle-sup-marathon

WDC is grateful to our guest bloggers and value their contributions to whale conservation. The views and opinions expressed by our guest bloggers are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, WDC.