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Increased protected ocean area a boost for whale populations

Increased protected ocean area a boost for whale populations

Protections in the South Atlantic Ocean for one of the largest and most important marine wildlife areas on the planet have been expanded. A decision to further protect the nutrient-rich waters surrounding South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (SGSSI) was taken by the UK and local governments after a campaign WDC supported as part…

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Scientists solve mystery of whale song

One of the big mysteries surrounding exactly how some of the great whales are able to sing has been solved by scientists. Baleen whales (those without teeth), such as the humpback and blue whale, are well known for their complex and haunting underwater vocal calls that can reach thousands of miles through the ocean. But…

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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 only the second ever time. Footage from Thailand appears to show a pair of white Omura’s whales swimming along beside a tourist boat near Phuket in the Andaman Sea. The Omura’s whale is the most recently identified whale species; they…

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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 environmental campaigners. It aims to be first country to make deep-sea mining happen on a commercial scale despite it posing significant threats to ocean ecosystems and habitats, including deep-diving whales and dolphins.  The target area includes feeding grounds for many…

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Scientists hold groundbreaking ‘chat’ with a whale

What is believed to be the first ‘conversation’ between humans and humpback whales has taken place. Researchers held the ‘chat’ with the whale in a groundbreaking encounter that represents an amazing breakthrough in the field of non-human intelligence. The team from the SETI Institute (Whale Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) used a recorded humpback ‘contact’ call…

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New Icelandic whaling licences should not be granted says WDC report

In anticipation of an application in coming weeks for new whale hunting licences by Hvalur hf (Iceland’s only whale hunting company), we have released a comprehensive report urging the Icelandic government to call a decisive halt to whaling activities.   The report, which has been delivered to Svandis Svavarsdóttir, Iceland’s Minister of Food, Agriculture, and…

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Our climate report highlights dramatic impacts on whales and dolphins

A new WDC report highlights the dramatic effect on whales and dolphins from climate change, including slowly boiling seas, shortage of prey and devastating mass death events. The effects are also reducing the role these majestic ocean beings can play in helping to fight climate breakdown and are threatening multiple species with imminent extinction. Whales…

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Dominica announces new protections for sperm whales

Dominica has placed almost 800 square kilometers of sea off the west coast of the country under protection specifically for sperm whales. This will be the world’s first marine sanctuary specifically for the species. Less than 500 individuals of the endangered sperm whale are believed to still live in the waters around the island. The…

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Scientific Committee gives first ever official species extinction warning

Vaquita. Photo Thomas Jefferson

Photo: Thomas Jefferson We have welcomed the urgent call by experts to protect the vaquita porpoise following the first ever official warning of the imminent extinction of a species by the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC)  – the global body that regulates whale hunting, and conservation of whales, dolphins and porpoises. Its…

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