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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...
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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...

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...

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...

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...

Future of European dolphins lies in EU Fisheries Committee hands TODAY!

Today (on Tuesday afternoon), MEPs from across Europe will vote on a range of fisheries measures aimed to conserve fish stocks, habitats and protected species. The vote will include measures to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales, as well as seabirds, seals and turtles, from incidental entanglement in fishing gear.

Many thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die due to bycatch in European waters every year. Here is our briefing on the necessary cetacean bycatch requirements to change this. Better – or worse – future bycatch measures are in the hands of those MEPs who sit on the EU Fisheries Committee.

The conservation groups that we work with in Europe have produced a full report on all the required fisheries measures.

The existing cetacean bycatch regulation is not as good as it could be, and compliance is not as good as it should be, as identified in this new WDC report. So the draft technical conservation measures are a welcome and desperately needed opportunity, except some MEPs are expected to take this opportunity to vote to remove and to weaken existing measures.

We have great concern that unless the bycatch language is significantly strengthened, the repeal of the existing Regulation and adoption of the new technical conservation measures may result in even higher numbers of dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear in European waters. This will especially threaten the critically endangered harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea and vulnerable harbour porpoise, bottlenose and common dolphin populations in South Western waters.

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE DICTATES WE NEED TO DO MORE

European and global dolphin bycatch and fisheries experts have written this EXPERT OPEN LETTER calling for better monitoring of fishing fleets and better measures to prevent deaths in all European seas. This call is echoed by the European Regional Agreements for the conservation of cetaceans, ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS, in their correspondence to the Commission about improving bycatch measures, back in 2016.

With our colleagues at HSI and EIA, we also wrote this piece including on the dire situation for Baltic harbour porpoises that could be prove to be the final nail in the coffin if existing measures are removed. 

The next step after this vote is for the measures to be voted in Plenary session in European Parliament, or to be negotiated behind closed doors between PECH and the Council. We will report back once the vote has taken place. You can watch the vote live, from 2.30pm today, on Tuesday 21st November.