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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...
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...

A lovely end to my sabbatical with more humpback whales

My time at the WDC North American office has come to an end; it has flown by and has been a wonderful experience.

In my previous blog I wrote about the humpback studies that I have been assisting on whilst I have been here. Since then the weather has continued to be unseasonably good and the humpback whales have continued to be around and more active at this time of year, I have been called a good luck charm!

A whale known as Abyss was very curious and came right over to the boat, and spent about 50 minutes with us just hanging around under the boat. I wonder what this very curious whale thought about everyone on the boat.


On another trip I was fortunate to see one of the adoption whales, Reflection, along with her calf from this year. She was being very active at the surface and was flipper slapping using both flippers for quite a while. Reflection is one of WDC’s favourite adoption whales and was first sighted as a young whale over 25 years ago. She was named for her symmetrical fluke pattern, a characteristic which she has not yet shared with any of her five calves.

Whilst I have been here helping with the studies into the humpback whales that use these waters for feeding and rearing their young, there has also been some saddening news during my stay.  The discovery of yet another dead North Atlantic right whale was made on October 23, marking the 16th known death for the critically endangered species since April of this year and the loss of more than 3% of the entire species in a six month period. 

This is very worrying news.  Since 2005, WDC North American office has been working on a programme, specifically dedicated to the continued survival of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale and they are diligently working with their conservation partners to save the remaining right whales from extinction. If you would like to help WDC and its work to save this species, please consider making a donation

I feel very fortunate that I had this opportunity to assist on the studies into the whales, that I had good weather and excellent sightings of so many whales displaying an array of different behaviours. It was all topped off on a boat trip with other WDC staff and volunteers, where as we went out we had a wonderful sunrise, and were soon accompanied by a pod of bow-riding common dolphins.