News and blogs

News

Plans for new plastic 'eating' ship are revealed

Design plans for a new eco-yacht that collects plastic from the ocean and recycles it into fuel have been unveiled in Southampton.

The £40million 'Ocean Saviour' has been specially designed to scoop up five tonnes of plastic pollution each day, which is then recycled into fuel that will power the vessel itself.

Oldest dolphin held captive dies after spending 47 years in a tank

Moby, the oldest dolphin held in captivity died today at the Nuremberg Zoo, Germany.

Moby, who was thought to be around 58 years old, had been held in captivity since 1971. The exact cause of death is not known at present but further details may be released by the zoo following investigations.

Throughout much of his life, Moby could be seen swimming in the same pattern around his tank, a sign of stereotypic behaviour often seen in intelligent, wide-ranging marine mammals like dolphins when they are held in captivity for long periods.

Japan’s attempts to remove the international ban on commercial whale hunting defeated

Japan’s hopes of overturning the 32-year-old ban on commercial whale hunting by changing current international regulations have been defeated following a vote at the International Whaling Commission (the body that regulates whale hunting) in Brazil today.

Japan’s proposal had been seen as one of the most dangerous threats to the ban on whaling and the future of whales for many years, bringing back large scale whaling and ending one of the biggest successes in conservation history. 

Proposal to create a whale sanctuary in the South Atlantic is defeated at whaling meeting

A proposal to establish a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary (SAWS) has failed to be ratified at International Whaling Commission (IWC – the body that regulates whale hunting), which is  meeting in Brazil this week.

The sanctuary would prevent whale hunting and encourage research and economic opportunities for local communities in the South Atlantic, but it failed to pass with a 61% majority voting against it, and despite the IWC’s own Scientific Committee already giving the plan its backing.

WDC joins new project helping to prevent whale and dolphin entanglement in fishing gear

WDC has joined up with other organisations to help with a new research project looking into the problem of marine mammal entanglement in fishing gear in Scottish waters, which has just been launched.

The first of its kind in Europe, the Scottish Entanglement Alliance (SEA) brings together fishing industry representatives, researchers and conservation and welfare charities to assess the scale and impact of the issue.

Blogs

Young Southern Resident orca Scarlet (J50) missing, presumed dead

I’m a huge sucker for an underdog.  Any kind of story with the downtrodden little guy, the scrappy long shot – I’m in and I root for them with my whole heart.  I just really like to see a happy ending, and things turn around just when you thought they couldn’t get any worse.  Sadly, the story of Scarlet (J50), is an underdog tale that doesn’t end happily, and this is not a movie we can turn aw

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.