News and blogs

News

Iceland shipment to Japan could contain meat from rare hybrid whales

WDC, along with a number of conservation and animal protection organisations, is calling on the Japanese government to prove that a shipment of Icelandic whale products that arrived in Ishinomaki, Japan, on November 13th does not include illegally imported meat from hybrid blue-fin whales. 

Orcas and belugas held in Russian 'whale prison'

Reports from Russia’s Pacific Coast suggest that 11 orcas and up to 90 beluga whales have been taken from the wild and placed in tiny holding pens in a bay near the city of Nakhodka.

According to local independent newspaper, Novaya Gazeta it is the largest number of marine mammals to be held in this way, and prosecutors are said to be investigating whether the orcas and belugas are being kept in the tiny enclosures illegally.

Record-breaking donation boosts WDC’s work to end captivity

WDC is delighted to announce that it has received its largest corporate donation to-date of just under $680k from our friends at Humble Bundle following WDC’s nomination as Humble Bundle’s ‘charity of the month’ for August. The donation will be used to support our vital world to put an end to the cruel practice of keeping whales and dolphins in captivity.

Footballs used to highlight plastic waste

Photographer, Mandy Barker has combined her interest in taking pictures and football (or soccer) to highlight the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean and on the shorelines of the world.

Her latest, thought-provoking photography project was triggered in the run-up to the 2018 World Cup and uses striking images of washed-up plastic footballs to shed light on the sheer scale of plastic debris.

Bill to outlaw captivity of whales and dolphins finally passes Canadian Senate

After 3 years the Canadian Senate has finally passed a Bill to outlaw the captivity of whales, dolphins and porpoises in Canada.

Bill S-203 now needs to be passed by the House of Commons by May. If it is approved, a fine of up to $200,000 could be imposed on anyone keeping and breeding whales and dolphins in captivity.

Study reveals plastic now inside humans

The first evidence of microplastics making their way into humans has been revealed by scientists studying participants from the UK, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia and Austria.

Nine different types of plastic were found in the faeces of every person who took part in the study, 20 microplastic particles in every 10 grams of stool, which suggests humans are swallowing them in food.

Plastic in the gut could suppress the immune system and aid transmission of toxins and harmful bugs or viruses, experts believe.

UK Government failed to designate sufficient sites to protect smallest member of whale and dolphin family says EU Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has today ruled that the UK Government failed to propose sufficient numbers of sites that would protect harbour porpoises in waters off the Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish coastline. The European Commission now will ask the UK government what measures they will put in place to comply with the EU Habitats Directive.

Blogs

50 shades of grey – watching orcas in Scotland

Every year, people gather on cliff tops in the north of Scotland to watch out for orcas, some of whom come down from their winter herring-hunting grounds in Iceland on the look out for seals in the early Scottish summer. Run by the Sea Watch Foundation and supported by WDC, we call this event Orca Watch.

Why Carnival needs to stop exploiting dolphins

Would you believe that more than 550 dolphins are held captive in 68 facilities across Mexico and the Caribbean? These dolphins are imprisoned primarily to amuse cruise ship passengers on ‘shore excursions’. Every day, hundreds of tourists disembark the cruise ships and pour into dolphin theme parks to hug, kiss and swim with the captive dolphins.

Iceland: A new dawn for whales and dolphins?

Will 2018 be the year that I can finally visit beautiful Iceland purely as a tourist, rather than a campaigner? Maybe it’s not surprising that this fabled ‘land of fire and ice’ should offer visitors a host of contradictions, but the juxtaposition of whale watching and whale hunting in the same waters is surely one of the most logic-defying examples on the planet?

Judges to rule on Morgan's future as orca's fate returns to court

In June 2010 a young female orca was found off the coast of the Netherlands. She was malnourished and alone so she was captured under a rehabilitation and release permit. Almost eight years later Morgan, as she was named, is still in captivity. In November 2011 she was transported to the privately owned Loro Parque on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain.

What prospects for whales, dolphins and porpoises in 2018?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. Its ‘Red List of Threatened Species’ – known as ‘The Red List’ - is the most comprehensive inventory we have of species at risk.