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Fin whale

Fin whales return to old feeding grounds in Southern Ocean

An exciting discovery by researchers in the waters around Antarctica suggest that fin whales are...
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...
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...

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...

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...

SOS alert for whales off Norway!

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

Norway's whaling season begins

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

Norway increases whaling quota despite declining demand

Norway's government has announced an increase in the number of minke whales that can be...

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Breaching porpoise

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting caught in fishing nets without having negative effects on their everyday behaviour.

Newly published research part funded by WDC shows that porpoises in the seas off Cornwall were 37% less likely to be found close to an active pinger.

Pingers are acoustic deterrent devices which are fitted on to fishing nets. They emit a randomised sonic noise, or ‘ping’, which can be heard by dolphins and porpoises and highlights the presence of the nets, thereby preventing accidental entanglement.

The porpoises’ own click sounds can be way above 100 times louder than the pings from the pinger.

Concerns have been raised about porpoises becoming used to pingers attached to nets and learning to ignore them, but the eight-month study – by the University of Exeter and Cornwall Wildlife Trust – found no decrease in effectiveness.

There have also been worries that continual pinger use could affect porpoise behaviour by displacing them from feeding grounds, but when pingers were switched off the porpoises returned.

Harbour porpoises are the most common cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) seen at the Cornish coast, where accidental catching by fishing boats (bycatch) is a persistent problem.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins around the world are accidentally killed in fishing nets and ropes.  This is the biggest cause of harm and death to whales and dolphins today. Like us, whales and dolphins breathe air, so when they get tangled up in a net, rope or fishing line it can be a race against time to reach the surface or to escape.

'WDC were pleased to support this important project’, WDC UK bycatch campaigner, Sarah Dolman says. ‘More than 1,000 porpoises die in UK gillnets each year - it's not clear how many die in gear set in UK waters by other fishing nations. Pingers can be effective in reducing harbour porpoise bycatch and can be used as part of toolbox of other helpful measures.’

By adopting a dolphin or making a donation, you can help us stop the accidental deaths of whales and dolphins.

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