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A dolphin called Arnie with a shell

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Leaping harbour porpoise

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Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

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Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

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Risso's dolphin at surface

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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

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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...

How a gift in your Will can help prevent whales and dolphins dying in nets

I’ve talked to a number of WDC supporters over the past couple of years, since I’ve been working on WDC’s gifts in Wills programme and found that making a Will is just not at the top of many people’s list of things to do. I was the same, and I expect you are too.  Always seemed plenty of reasons not to – never seem to have the time, too complicated or expensive, don’t want to decide who gets what, or too young to be thinking about your Will. But the more I’ve worked on this programme, the more I have come to understand how having a Will is so important to ensure that those you care about, including charities, are provided for in the way you want.   

I was devastated to learn that whales and dolphins have to spend their lives swimming through a labyrinth of fishing gear, sometimes over 100km long. And consequently, hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins don’t make it through safely and suffer a slow and painful death. But these deaths are preventable, and gifts in Wills are vital if we are to achieve our vision of a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free.  

WDC has been working to stop deaths in nets for more than 20 years and we have had a number of successes. As a result of WDC campaigning, the UK Fisheries Minister committed to being a world leader in tackling dolphin, porpoise and whale bycatch and significantly reducing the numbers dying in nets. And you may be aware of our current campaign calling on the New Zealand government to keep their promise to ensure only dolphin-safe fishing methods are used in the New Zealand dolphin’s home. These nets are pushing New Zealand dolphins to extinction, it’s not too late to save them but we need to act fast.  

This work is only possible because of supporters like you and gifts in Wills, however large or small. These legacies help us continue our work to stop dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear. The donations supoprters have leftr to us after their death have enabled us to campaign for better data collection of these incidents, better management of where and how fisheries operate, better understanding of where whales and dolphins live and how they use particular areas, and better regulations and more compliance with them.  

Writing a Will is a lot easier than I expected. I’ve recently been through the process using our partner Farewill, writing a Will online, from the comfort of my own home, and on my own timescale and it was honestly really easy. They have Will specialists to provide live support and every Will is checked before being finalised. 

You can write your Will for free using Farewill with code WDC100. Just follow this link to get started! This service is only currently available in England and Wales.    

If Farewill isn’t for you please look at The Law Society where you can find a local solicitor or call 0207 242 1222. All you will need to provide to your solicitor is our details: WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Brookfield House, 38 St Paul Street, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN15 1LJ.  Registered charity numbers 1014705 (England and Wales) or SC040231 (Scotland).  

If you have any questions about leaving a gift to WDC in your Will, how gifts in Wills help protect whales and dolphins or wish to inform us of a gift in your Will to WDC, please don’t hesitate to contact me on [email protected] or call on 01249 449500.

Thank you so much for being part of the solution!