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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...
We need whale poo ? WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
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

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
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...
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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...

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...

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...

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...

WDC visits European Parliament to stop dolphins and porpoises dying in fishing gear!

This week WDC was proud to co-host an event in the European Parliament in Brussels. Led by our friends at Birdlife, the event was a great opportunity to highlight the massive issue of seabirds, marine mammals and turtles dying in fishing gear in European waters.  We talked to MEPs about the scale of the problem and, importantly, what they need to do to stop the suffering. 

You may have been following our campaign to make sure that the UK has strong measures to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales in UK seas, after the UK has left the EU. If you are one of the thousands who have signed our petition – thank you!

To make sure dolphins, porpoises and whales are safe from entanglement in fishing gear (known as ‘bycatch’) in UK seas, we need to make sure that the legislation that comes across to UK law, after Brexit, is good enough to start with. The EU regulations that are supposed to protect dolphins from fishing gear are being reviewed and we have the opportunity to influence this. This means that a lot of my effort is focussed on Europe at the moment and this Parliamentary event was one of those opportunities.

WDC belongs to a coalition of European conservation organisations called Seas at Risk. We each bring different but complementary expertise and knowledge meaning that we are a more powerful authority than if we each tackled marine issues alone. WDC’s goal here is to eliminate dolphin, porpoise and whale bycatch in European waters. Collectively, we are meeting with and providing scientific evidence to politicians who sit on the relevant Committees and to other decision makers. They are reviewing and deciding on content and language for this new EU regulation.


The event yesterday was an important opportunity to highlight the tragic numbers of dolphins, porpoises, whales, seals, seabirds and turtles dying in fishing gear in European waters. Along with our colleagues from other charities we were able to talk with MEPs and different parts of the fishing sector and explore solutions.

There will be a vote in the Fisheries Committee on the proposed new measures in October. The legislation is negotiated between the European Commission, Parliamentarians and the Council and the whole of the European Parliament (including your MEP!) will vote. Whatever is agreed is likely to be finalised before the UK leaves the EU and so will probably form the basis of future UK law too.

WDC has been giving the Fisheries Committee MEPs the opportunity to show their support for our campaign by having their photo taken with our cut-out dolphin.

We can’t change these protection measures without you. We will need your help to get better protection for dolphins, porpoises and whales from bycatch in European seas and we will let you know when and what we need you to do!