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Majestic fin whales

Icelandic whalers kill first fin whales in four years

As feared, whale hunters in Iceland have slaughtered at least two fin whales, the first...
Humpback whale underwater

Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a...
Humpback whales in Alaska

Pumps and conveyor belts. How could more whales help save us?

We are excited to announce backing for two ground-breaking research projects to assess the little...
Amazon River dolphin (Boto)

River dolphins observed playing with anaconda

Researchers in Bolivia recorded an unusual interaction between local rivers dolphins and an anaconda snake...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • 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...

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 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...

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Following a three month ultimatum to improve welfare standards Whale and Dolphin Conservation welcomes Thomas Cook’s decision to stop selling tickets to SeaWorld in the United States and Loro Parque in Tenerife.

After a successful WDC campaign calling on tour operators to fully implement the animal welfare guidelines that the travel association ABTA compiled in 2013, Thomas Cook began to independently audit all its suppliers against these guidelines last year.

SeaWorld and many other facilities continue to flout these ABTA industry standards. In captivity whales and dolphins are held in stark, artificial tanks with no natural stimulation, making it impossible for these complex creatures to exhibit natural behaviour. If any facility were to fully comply with ABTA guidance then it should not hold whales and dolphins in captivity.

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said in an interview with The Times “We’re conscious of changing customer sentiment. We have engaged with animal welfare specialists in the past 18 months and taken account of the scientific evidence they have provided.”

WDC has been working closely with Thomas Cook, advising them about whales and dolphins in tourism and welcomes Thomas Cook’s move as a huge step in the right direction.

Rob Lott, WDC’s End Captivity Campaigner, says “This is a bold move by Thomas Cook and should be applauded. Thomas Cook is the first major UK tour operator to drop existing facilities where animal welfare issues were causing concern. The decision is based on two factors – the scientific evidence which demonstrates that whales and dolphins are totally unsuitable for life in a tank and the serious concerns the public has about keeping these highly social, intelligent creatures confined just for our entertainment.

Other operators like Virgin holidays have started to take action but more can be done. Some, like British Airways, have ignored WDC’s approaches and see nothing wrong with this practice. Perhaps this move by Thomas Cook may change their stance. Whales and dolphins should be wild and free not performing silly tricks for our entertainment.

Our sincere hope is that other travel companies will now follow Thomas Cook’s lead and take animal welfare concerns more seriously”.