Posts by Cathy Williamson
Will we ever see an end to whale and dolphin captures in Russia?
The infamous whale jail on Russia’s Far East coast stands empty. Between late summer 2018 and November 2019, more than 100 wild-caught beluga whales and orcas were held in tiny, crowded pens awaiting sale to overseas aquaria. As winter set in, ice began to cover the enclosures and a worldwide effort surfaced to raise awareness…Read More
Successful campaigning starts at home – how WDC supports grassroots end captivity campaigners
For the last 20 years, I’ve been leading Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s work to end the capture, trade and keeping of whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity. When I started in my role, back in 1998, the UK no longer had any captive dolphin attractions and so my work has always been international. What we’ve…Read More
Life in lockdown – is this what captivity for whales and dolphins is like?
I’m stuck at home with my immediate family, trying to get used to a new routine of work shifts and home schooling, limited exercise and the constant threat of boredom. I worry about the lack of supermarket delivery slots for vulnerable people, how long this is all going to go on and about wider family…Read More
Is a good outcome possible for the jailed whales in Russia?
It’s not often that we report good news from Russia about whales and dolphins. We have been fighting for many years to end the capture of orcas and belugas from Russian waters for the aquarium trade. The bad news continued in 2018, as dozens of whales were illegally incarcerated in holding pens in Srednyaya Bay…Read More
Dolphins endure extreme suffering when captured from the wild
It’s not just the dolphins who are killed or captured in Japan’s cruel hunts that suffer. It’s likely that dolphins who witness the hunts but escape, endure extreme physical and psychological suffering. All this is revealed in a new review, co-authored by WDC’s Philippa Brakes and published in the scientific Journal of Applied Animal Welfare…Read More
Orcas and belugas held in appalling ‘whale jail’
You may have read the stories about the so-called ‘whale jail’ in Russia. If you have, you’ll have seen the sickening images of belugas and orcas crammed into tiny pens, having been taken from their families to supply the growing captivity industry in China and other countries. In December, we welcomed news that Russian authorities…Read More
How long do bottlenose dolphins survive in captivity?
We were happy to host Zoology student, Grace Long for a two week placement at our UK headquarters, in March. Grace is a student at the University of Exeter and she’s keen to get into whale and dolphin research and conservation. She joined our End Captivity team during her time with us and took on…Read More
Why whale and dolphin captivity is cruel – the science
In 2017, an important new academic book brought together all aspects of marine mammal welfare as a reference point for universities, students and all those working for marine mammal protection, welfare and conservation. Marine Mammal Welfare, Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare has a large section dedicated…Read More
How do you build a beluga whale sanctuary?
Preparing a new home for two ex-captive belugas is a wonderful world first. The future of the two captive beluga whales we are building a sanctuary for, in a remote location in Iceland, is looking more certain by the day. As the weather improves and we get the necessary endorsements for our sanctuary to be…Read More
Major airline alliance not willing to help stop Japan’s dolphin slaughter
I’m sure you are as sickened as I am that every year from September to April, dolphins and small whales are still subjected to a bombardment of stress and cruelty in Taiji, Japan as they are hunted for meat or captured alive for display in zoos and aquaria. This annual bloodbath flies in the face…Read More