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Great Whale Conveyor Belt

Great Whale Conveyor Belt

Sperm whales

Baleen whales undertake some of the longest migrations on Earth.  These extraordinary journeys have a transformative effect on the transport of vital nutrients through the ocean, in a process known as the ’Great Whale Conveyor Belt.’  Whales transport and release thousands of tonnes of nutrients – including iron and nitrogen, which are vital for species…

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Indo-Pacific finless porpoise – Hong Kong

Group of indo-pacific finless porpoises

Using local environmental knowledge and fishing community cooperation to map bycatch hotspots for finless porpoises Despite the popular image of Hong Kong as a thriving business and banking metropolis, an extensive small scale fishing industry continues throughout Hong Kong waters, despite all commercial trawling being banned in 2012. Entanglement in fishing gear is the most…

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Atlantic humpback dolphins – Senegal

Atlantic humpback dolphin group

Researching and reducing threats to Senegal’s marine mammals and turtles. There are only 1,500 Atlantic humpback dolphins, or Sousa teuzsii left on Earth. Only found along the west coast of Africa, they are critically endangered and in desperate need of our protection. We need to stop them becoming the first dolphin species to be hunted…

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Humpback whales – Alaska

Humpback whales in Alaska. © Alaska Whale Foundation

WDC funds pioneering research project Whales are our allies in the fight against the climate crisis. Among other things, whales stimulate the production of oxygen in the sea by fertilizing the smallest algae in the upper sea layer (phytoplankton) with their excretions. Through their diving behaviour they promote the exchange of nutrients between layers in…

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The Penn Cove orca captures

Southern resident orca

This video is original and shocking footage of the notorious Penn Cove orca captures, which occurred in August 1970, near Puget Sound, Washington State, in which seven, presumably Southern Resident orcas, including Lolita, were taken into captivity. As many as five orcas drowned in the nets during this process, where over 80 individuals were encircled.…

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Whales and dolphins of the Southern Ocean

Antarctic minke whale

The Southern Ocean (SO) was the main commercial whaling region from the late nineteenth to twentieth century and it is estimated that over 2 million whales of various species were taken in the Southern Hemisphere, with most of them being caught in the Antarctic during that period. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned…

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Commerson’s dolphins and Peale’s dolphins – Argentina

Commerson's dolphins

For over 20 years, WDC has been supporting research undertaken by Fundación Cethus on cetaceans off Santa Cruz province, Southern Argentinean, Patagonia, particularly on Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins. Both Commerson’s and Peale’s dolphins occur in the coastal waters of Southern South America and Falkland Islands/ Islas Malvinas. Commerson’s are also recorded around the Kerguelen Islands in…

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Southern right whales – Argentina

Southern right whale

WDC is supporting Fundación Cethus’ research and conservation efforts with Southern right whales in Argentina. Back in 2000, local NGO Fundación Cethus began to study southern right whales in two main areas of Santa Cruz province: Golfo San Jorge and Cabo Vírgenes. These two areas are important for the migration of the species between breeding…

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Porpoises – meet the different species

Harbour porpoise

The porpoise family contains seven porpoise species. Porpoises hunt fast-moving fish, squid, and other sea creatures.  They have blubber to keep them warm, a single blowhole, and most have a dorsal fin and countershading camouflage which means they are darker on their back than their belly. The main physical differences between porpoises and dolphins are…

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