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Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

Photo: Thomas Jefferson We have welcomed the urgent call by experts to protect the vaquita...
blue whale

Whale fossil from Peru may have been heavier than blue whale

Scientists examining the bones of a 39 million-year-old ancient whale have concluded that it may...
Humpback whale © Christopher Swann

Humpback whales breach in synchronisation

Humpback whales are renowned for their incredible acrobatic displays, but a family in the USA...
Long-finned pilot whale

Unusual activity witnessed before pilot whale stranding

Just days after a pod of long-finned pilot whales stranded on an island in the...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings
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...

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...

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...

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...

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...

Norway's whaling season begins

April 1st saw the start of the whaling season in Norway. Despite a widely-accepted international moratorium...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

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

Icelandic fin whale hunting to resume

Iceland’s only fin whaling company, Hvalur hf,  announced today that it will resume fin whaling...

Cautious welcome for UK Government’s 25 year Environment Plan

The UK Government’s long awaited 25 Year Environment Plan for England was launched today and contains some optimistic comments regarding threats to whales and dolphins, but also some key omissions.

Amongst a raft of ideas and proposals, the Plan contains commitments to continue to champion the conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the UK, to support the global ban on commercial whale hunting, and to lead calls for those countries that still engage in commercial whaling practices to stop.

‘WDC very much welcomes the commitments in the Plan’, says WDC bycatch policy manager, Sarah Dolman. ‘Whilst the UK Government has previously made a commitment to developing a strategy on the issue of bycatch (accidental deaths of whales and dolphins in fishing nets), we were disappointed that eliminating bycatch was not mentioned in the Plan.

‘In 25 years the UK can, and should, all but eliminate dolphin and porpoise bycatch in our waters. Not including this in the Environment Plan was an opportunity lost to state a tangible and achievable ambition for the UK to be world-leading in our efforts to lead by example.’

 

The Government´s commitment to continue its support of the international commercial whaling ban is also pleasing but, as WDC’s whaling policy manager Astrid Fuchs says, the UK Government has to back this up and provide legislation to put an end to the transport of whale meat through UK ports. WDC has been campaigning for such laws to be enacted for some time. ‘Stopping the whalers from using our ports will force them to use longer, much more expensive routes for their bloody trade, which will make whaling even less profitable than it already is and help bring an end to the killing of whales.’

In addition the UK Government has committed to develop plans around waste reduction and single-use plastics.  ‘The Government’s commitment to reducing waste in general and marine litter in particular should be a given’ says WDC plastic policy lead, Pine Eisfeld-Pierantonio.  ‘This pledge now must be backed up with a well-resourced and clearly outlined strategy for delivery, with transparent processes both for monitoring and progress reporting, as well as evidence-based decision making and clear milestones.’

 

The Plan also mentions establishing a new watchdog to monitor environmental issues, give the environment a voice and uphold environmental standards as the UK leaves the European Union.  WDC has joined with other leading environment charities to push for the Plan to be given real teeth to rival those of the EU’s Commission and the Courts. Delivering the UK Government’s ambitions in this 25 year plan will require resources, strong laws and sufficient financial backing. 

Visit WDC’s #NotWhaleFood site to see how you can help solve the plastic pollution problem.