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More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

Rescuers find young girl’s body surrounded by dolphins

Reports from South Africa about a tragic drowning off Llandudno beach, Cape Town say that...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Locals rescue pilot whales in Iceland

In Iceland, a country often tarnished by its fin and minke whale hunting industry, local people have been helping to rescue over 100 long-finned pilot whales that became trapped on the shoreline around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the west of the country. People in the area flocked to the scene in an attempt to push them back out to sea and to safety.

The large group of whales initially swam towards the shore east of the town Ólafsvík. According to reports, local sailor, Snorri Rafnsson was one of the first to spot them and immediately went out on his kayak to try to herd them away from the shore.

“I knew what was happening, they would swim up to the shore and strand there. This has happened a few times since I was a kid,” he said in an interview with Icelandic broadcaster, mbl.is.

After a short while a local search and rescue team took over and managed to move the whales further from the shore. As is often the case with pilot whale strandings, the whales turned around and swam back towards the shore with five stranding on the beach, confused and wounded after hitting rocks.

Although pilot whales are not hunted by Iceland’s whalers, an end to Iceland’s fin and minke hunts maybe in sight following the recent indications by Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir, the new Icelandic Fisheries Minister that Iceland’s whaling policy would be reviewed.

A live whale or dolphin beached on the shore is almost always in danger of death. They are helpless on land and usually die within a few hours or days if not appropriately attended to.

Species like pilot whales have very strong social bonds and often follow a leader. The frequently strand in large groups when it appears that either a lead whales has made a navigational mistake or one individual has become sick or wounded and led the rest of the pod onto the shore.

WDC helps with strandings around the world and works on projects seeking to understand why whales and dolphins strand  – DONATE TO HELP OUR WORK.