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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...

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...

30,725g of litter cleaned up – good job!

By Sarah Sheldon, WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre‘s Guide and Events intern. 

Plastic has recently been a hot topic, even more than usual here at the Scottish Dolphin Centre. Myself and the other interns have recently attempted to reduce our plastic consumption after watching the incredible eye opening film “A Plastic Ocean”. So when I was asked to host a beach clean on behalf of Marine Conservation Society as part of the Great British Beach Clean, I was enthusiastic to clean up as much as possible and spread the plastic free message!

Locals and tourists kindly volunteered for the day to clean up our beach. We managed to collect 12 bags of rubbish (as well as a hefty lobster pot), making a grand total of 30,725g of litter from only a 100 meter stretch of our beach; that’s not even a quarter of its length! The top items we collected were crisp packets (17), cans (23) and plastic pieces (55). These smaller pieces of litter can cause the biggest problems of all. Plastic never degrades, and so can only break up into these smaller pieces. Unfortunately this makes them incredibly easy to be eaten by marine and avian animals, far too often resulting in their death.

An estimated 50% of our plastic is used just once with more than 8 million tons of plastic dumped into our oceans every year*. These figures can feel extremely hopeless, but if we all make just a few small changes to our daily habits, these scary figures could drop dramatically. Simple things; like always using a bag for life when shopping, buying a lifelong water bottle so that single use plastic bottles are obsolete, and picking up litter wherever you see it, will all make an incredible difference. From trying to go entirely plastic free myself I know that it is a struggle, but the less we use and the more we clean up, the cleaner our oceans will be and the happier our beloved wildlife.

*https://www.plasticoceans.org/the-facts/