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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...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...
Fin whale

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...
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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...

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...

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...

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...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

I have to admit to bitter disappointment when I arrived in Tromsø, northern Norway, a...

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/