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A dolphin called Arnie with a shell

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

A story about whales and humans

As well as working for WDC, I write books for young people. Stories; about the...
Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
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...
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Minke whale hunts stop in Iceland

Iceland’s commercial hunt of minke whales has ended for this year. The common minke whale is the...
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...

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...

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...

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...

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf,  announced today that it will resume fin whaling...

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!