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Orca Lulu's body contained PCB levels 100x above the safe limit. Image: SMASS

Toxic tides, troubled whales: the toll of chemical pollution

In last week's blog, we examined the challenges whales and dolphins face as they travel...
Group of orcas at surface

Breaking barriers for whales and dolphins at the Convention of Migratory Species

Many species of whales, dolphins and porpoises undertake long journeys, encountering human-made obstacles along the...
Tokyo

WDC in Japan – Part 1: Finding allies in Tokyo

At the end of May, I embarked on an incredible journey to Japan on behalf...
Amazon river dolphins leaping

The state of river dolphin conservation

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we partner with conservationists and communities fighting to save river...
Researchers in Southeast Alaska studying whale poo

We’re funding crucial research on whale poo to combat the climate crisis

The ocean is one of the lungs of our planet, and whales help it to...
Narwhal surfacing

The unicorns of the sea must be protected – CITES

The narwhal, is under threat. Often referred to as the unicorns of the sea, narwhals,...
Sperm whales

We’re pushing governments for action for our climate heroes – whales

The climate crisis is the greatest threat to all life on Earth. But there is...
Dolphins captured for captivity in Taiji. Image: Hans Peter Roth

Loved and killed – whales and dolphins in Japan

Protests and criticism from outside Japan in response to the slaughter of whales and dolphins...
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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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

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

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

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!