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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...

More bad news as two humpback dolphin species are elevated to Endangered and Critically Endangered status!

Just the other day i blogged about how, as a direct result of bycatch, the IUCN had uplisted both the Irrawaddy dolphin and the finless porpoise to Endangered status. I thought that was depressing enough but more bad news was to follow with the elevation of Atlantic humpback dolphins to Critically Endangered status and Indian Ocean humpback dolphins being elevated to Endangered status – what is happening to our flippered friends? Why are we decimating thier populations with such ease and consistency?

It was only recently that the Indo-Pacific dolphin was separated into distinct species and this news of their precariously low population numbers brings home the magnitude of the situation facing humpback dolphins across their range. 

Atlantic humpback dolphins are only found in shallow, nearshore waters along the western coast of north and central Africa. Only 20 years ago the species was classified as Data Deficient, meaning that we didn’t know enough about them to classify them, 10 years later research showed them to be Vulnerable, today that status is now Critically Endangered with the species having seen a reduction of approximately 80% in the past 75 years. The recdution in their numbers – approx. 1,500 mature individuals remain – is a direct result of bycatch and other coastal developments.

The Indian Ocean humpback dolphin was only recently classified as a distinct species from the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and is found, as its name suggests, in the Indian Ocean from South Africa to India. as with other humpback dolphins, they live in nearshore waters and have a restricted range, meaning that human activities, and predominantly bycatch, are resulting in their population decline.