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A dolphin called Arnie with a shell

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...
Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

A story about whales and humans

As well as working for WDC, I write books for young people. Stories; about the...
Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
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...
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  • Strandings

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...

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...

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...

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...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

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

Our last chance to get the EU to save the whales

TAKE ACTION – SIGN OUR LETTER TO BERND LANGE NOW. YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.

Two years ago, we launched our campaign calling on the EU to make whaling a deal breaker in its trade negotiations with Japan. Our reasoning is simple: having a political and economic powerhouse like the EU clearly signal that the flouting of international agreements and the senseless slaughter of whales is a danger to making a lot of money, might actually do the trick with Japan and make them reconsider their whaling policies.

If you were one of the many people who signed our call to the EU – thank you! Together, we have made considerable progress and our campaign has demonstrated what an impact your voice can have. Yes, petitions can work.

After its launch in March 2016, our campaign was echoed by Members of the EU Parliament, who jointly questioned the European Commission (which is leading the trade talks for the EU) on how whaling would play into the discussions. That question was followed by a lively debate in Parliament and topped off with a resolution, calling on the Commission to do their utmost to discuss whaling with their Japanese counterparts. Many MEPs passionately spoke out against the killing of whales. WDC also held a joint event in Parliament, to directly discuss the issue with MEPs and representatives from the Commission.

Thanks the help of our partners at petition site, Care2 and everyone who supported the call, we collected almost 270,000 signatures that we presented to Bernd Lange, the chair of the EU Parliament’s Trade Committee in October 2016. He was sympathetic to our campaign and agreed that the stance of the European Parliament on the issue is clear.

We then officially submitted the petition to the EU Parliament’s Committee on Petitions (PETI). Although the EU Commission continued to be dismissive of our call, the PETI chair invited WDC to present on the topic in November 2017. Many of the MEPs who were present agreed with our ask and the need for whaling to be a topic – and a deal breaker – in the trade talks. Subsequently, PETI members decided to address a personal letter to Cecilia Malmström, the EU Commission’s lead in the trade talks, to express their concern and ask for a statement. The Committee chair pointed out that the voice of almost 270,000 people should not be dismissed.

Now, the circle is closing as preparations for the trade agreement are in their final stage. The Commission has, despite all concerns, finalised the talks with Japan. It is now over to the EU Parliament’s Trade Committee to review the outcome and give recommendations to the Members of Parliament on next steps. After all, in order to enter into force, the agreement needs the final approval by the European Parliament!

The Japanese Government is determined to continue its annual whale slaughter under the guise of science with the aim of bringing back commercial whaling.

In June 2017, the Japanese Parliament agreed on a new law on whaling, which locks in its commercial whaling ambitions and just a few weeks ago, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated his government’s commitment to a resumption of commercial whaling.

The EU has the historic chance to actually make Japan think again about whaling. The whaling lobby in Japan is powerful, yet the continuation of this outdated and cruel industry only serves the interest of a select few, a political clique that does not care for the interests of the wider Japanese public, nor the conservation of the ocean and the whales.

We have seen many welcome statements against Japanese whaling from the EU and other countries over the last few years. Unfortunately, these are not much more than toothless paper tigers that the Japanese Government could not care about less. However if the EU demonstrates that conservation and the voice of the European public are not trumped by economic interests – and that there won’t be an agreement unless Japan stops whaling for good – then that would certainly make an impression.

So, I am hoping that all of you – and hopefully many more – who have helped us get to this stage, will join us again in calling on the Trade Committee review to raise Japan’s whaling as a concern and deal breaker. Together we have come this far but we only have a few months left to get the EU to be a real voice for the whales. Let’s make the coming weeks count. Please sign and share our petition wide and far. Thank you!

TAKE ACTION – SIGN OUR LETTER TO BERND LANGE NOW. YOU CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.