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Increased protected ocean area a boost for whale populations

Protections in the South Atlantic Ocean for one of the largest and most important marine...

Scientists solve mystery of whale song

One of the big mysteries surrounding exactly how some of the great whales are able...
Could this be an Omura's whale?

Rare ‘new’ whale may have been spotted for only the second time

An extremely elusive whale species has possibly been spotted for what is thought to be...
Blue whale © Andrew Sutton

Norway agrees to deep sea mining that threatens ocean wildlife

Norway's parliament has voted to allow mineral exploration on the Arctic seabed despite objections from...
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...

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...

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...

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...

Conservation groups call on the travel industry to help build a better post pandemic future for captive whales and dolphins

On the eve of the (virtual) World Travel Market event in London, WDC along with other welfare and conservation organisations have released a report calling on the travel industry to work with them and end support for whale and dolphin captivity shows, not prop up a cruel practice through ticket sales and promotions that shortens the lives of these intelligent creatures.

Whales and dolphins in captivity have been put at further risk as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, when tourism shuts down and facilities risk no longer being able to afford to feed and care for individuals. Close interaction between wildlife and humans in places where health and welfare is compromised also creates a hotspot for zoonotic disease.

In “A vision for whales and dolphins in tourism”, Born Free Foundation, Humane Society International, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, World Animal Protection and World Cetacean Alliance highlight the sad plight of around 3,500 whales, dolphins and porpoises around the world performing in circus-style shows or swimming with programmes, and who suffer mentally  and physically as a result.

Watch WDC’s anti captivity campaigner, Rob Lott talking about the Vision Document and our hopes for a better future for captive whales and dolphins:

As we build back from the global pandemic, the travel industry has a chance to help reshape our relationship with whales and dolphins by supporting responsible whale and dolphin watching in the wild, and ocean sanctuaries where they can live more natural lives – such as the one established in Iceland (in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation), where two beluga whales have experienced their first taste of the ocean since they were captured from the wild when they were very young.

The report reminds the travel industry that whales and dolphins are intelligent and wide-ranging, living in complex societies in the wild. In captivity, it is impossible to replicate their natural environment or family groupings. In confined, artificial conditions, with all activities controlled by their trainers and facility staff, whales and dolphins suffer from stress and stress-related disease, boredom and low life expectancy. Whales and dolphins are still captured from the wild to meet the growing demand for individuals in some countries.

Research conducted in 2019 by World Animal Protection revealed that 80% of visitors to dolphin facilities would prefer to see them in the wild.

In a statement for the coalition, Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s End Captivity Campaigner Cathy Williamson said “For the global tourism industry to now rebuild a more resilient and responsible future, whale and dolphin exploitation for entertainment must end. Tourism can be a force for good that helps make this the last generation of whales and dolphins in captivity”.

You can access the Responsible Tourism programme presented at the World Travel Market London event here
All sessions can be watched live or on catch up on the WTM Virtual Platform. All times are local in the UK.
To be part of the Responsible Tourism  programme  and virtually attend WTM please register here to attend WTM Virtual:

Download the report

A vision for whales and dolphin in tourism

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