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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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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...

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...

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...

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...

Death of a species

The discovery of yet another dead endangered North Atlantic right whale off Virginia brings the loss to a total of 18 dead since April, a devastating blow to the species during a year when only five calves were born.  

While 12 of the deaths occurred in Canadian waters between June and September, this latest mortality is the fifth known to occur in US waters off the coast of Cape Cod.  

Recently published research confirms that the species has been in decline since 2010 as a result of human impacts.  With fewer than 450 remaining, researchers estimate certain extinction within 23 years unless threats to the species are drastically reduced. 

Right whales were once driven to near extinction due to commercial whaling and now once again face extinction as a result of vessel strikes and entanglements in fishing gear.  

Ironically, human impacts on North Atlantic right whales ultimately impact our own survival as research indicates that whales play a significant role in global ecosystems. Whales transport nutrients to surface waters where they sustain phytoplankton, a tiny floating ocean plant. Phytoplankton provide up to half the earth’s oxygen, sequesters carbon thereby fighting climate change, and sustains fish stocks. 

According to Regina Asmutis-Silvia, WDC-NA executive director, “It’s pretty clear that if we do nothing we have condemned a species, on which we depend, to extinction… ultimately dooming our own existence.” 

What WDC is doing:

  • WDC and its conservation partners are seeking action by the governments of the US and Canada to fulfil their obligations under the US Endangered Species Act and the Canadian Species At Risk Act.
  • As a federally appointed member of the Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team, WDC is continuing its collaborative work to devise measures that reduce the risk of entanglements. 
  • And in response to the recent deaths of right whales in Canada, WDC has formally requested that the MSC certification of the Canadian snow crab fishery be withdrawn until the fishery operates in a way that does not jeopardize the continued survival of right whales.

Since its incorporation in 2005, WDC’s North American office has implemented a program specifically dedicated to the continued survival of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, a project which the Patagonia Outdoor Clothing and Gear company has helped to support since 2010.

Help us save this species – donate today