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200th anniversary of the sinking of the whaleship Essex

On 20 November 1820, a sperm whale turned on a whaling ship in the Pacific and sank her. Two hundred years on, in her guest blog, freelance journalist and long-time WDC supporter Stephanie Boxall reflects on what we can learn from the incident that inspired Herman Melville to write Moby-Dick. Two hundred years ago, an…

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Blue whale sightings increase off South Georgia

New research suggests that blue whales may finally be returning to South Georgia decades after the end of whaling. The waters around the island in the South Atlantic were the location for some of the most devastating impacts of commercial whaling. Over 40,000 blue whales were killed during the first part of the 20th century…

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

Tilikum in captivity

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…

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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in a remote part of Tasmania. Originally it was thought around 270 whales were involved but another group has now been discovered. Around 380 whales are thought to have died in the waters around Macquarie Harbour near Strahan on the island’s…

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Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia’s Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18 miles (30km) up the East Alligator river. It is the first time a whale has been recorded swimming so far up a river in Australia. Two other whales that were originally seen in the river have returned to the ocean.…

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Quieter waters allow dolphins in Hong Kong to return

Scientists studying endangered Chinese white dolphins (Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins) in Hong Kong have noticed an increase is sightings after a drop in boat traffic.  Since the Covid pandemic began there has been a dramatic decline in the number of boats frequenting the waters where the dolphins are found, in particular the fast ferries serving the…

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Mystery surrounds orca harassment of boats

Scientists are trying to work out why a pod of orcas have been damaging passing boats off the coasts of Spain and Portugal in recent weeks. Several boats have been targeted as they sailed through the region with the whales appearing to deliberately ram the boats’ hulls. Some have lost their rudders and steering as…

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Tahlequah the orca has a new calf

Tahlequah (J35) with her calf J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah (J35), an orca from the Southern Resident population, has given birth to a new calf (J57). They were seen swimming together at the end of last week by scientists from the Center for Whale Research. In 2018…

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WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

Scientists from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, along with over 250 other experts from 40 countries, have signed on to an open letter calling for action to urgently address the precarious situation of many populations of whales, dolphins and porpoises, (collectively ‘cetaceans’) many of which face extinction threats due to harmful human activity such as incidental…

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Russia to give orcas greater protection

According to reports, Viktoria Abramchenko, the Deputy Prime Minister in Russia responsible for environmental affairs, has announced that transient orcas are going to be added to the country’s Red Data Book of endangered species. In recent years, Russia has allowed a number of orcas to be captured for sale to the captivity industry. The whales…

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