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Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?


I’m feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland’s Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little justification for authorising any further whaling when the current permits expire in 2023. Stating unequivocally that ‘it must be shown that it is economically justifiable to renew fishing rights’, Svandís reminds readers that whaling has damaged Iceland’s reputation and negatively…

Fin whale

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15th February 2022


Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy


Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an end to the kind of dolphin hunt that sparked an outcry in September last year. Yet a poll has shown that a staggering 83% are in favour of continuing the traditional grindadráp, the slaughter of pilot whales. This is not…

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8th February 2022


Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action


Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than 75,000 times. That’s 75,000 dolphin watches carried out as part of our citizen science Shorewatch programme! I tried to process that huge number in a bunch of different ways. A ‘Shorewatch’ is a 10-minute land-based survey for whales and dolphins.…

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1st February 2022


The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope


Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home country of the Faroe Islands, many people have raised their voices in outrage and concern – internationally, but also from within the Faroese community. I am Faroese and I feel the same way. That’s why I have joined WDC as…

Atlantic white-sided dolphins

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25th January 2022


From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75


Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions that affect whales (and more recently dolphins and porpoises too) … and what happens to whales impacts the ocean and all of us. So as the IWC celebrates its 75th anniversary, let’s explore how this international body began by attempting…

Fin whale

30th November 2021


Progress for our campaign as New Zealand takes action to protect dolphins from fishing nets


Following our long-running campaign to save endangered Hector’s dolphins, the New Zealand government has announced action … but will it be enough? Hector’s dolphins live only around New Zealand and their safety and survival is at risk from dying in fishing nets as ‘bycatch‘. We’ve been campaigning hard to get the most dangerous nets banned…

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25th November 2021


COP26: Did we persuade world leaders to listen to the ocean?


As the dust settles after the United Nations Climate Change conference in Glasgow, it’s a good moment to reflect on what we achieved there for whales, dolphins and the ocean. Many things have been said already on how the event unfolded and here I’ll give my honest ruminations on what happened during and after those…

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23rd November 2021


WDC joins US network to help rescue whales and dolphins


Goods news for whales and dolphins in the US. WDC’s team there has officially joined the Marine Mammal Stranding Network and is now authorised to respond to strandings along a section of the Massachusetts coastline, helping efforts to save marine mammals that may get into difficulties and wash up on the shoreline there. Thousands of…

18th November 2021


Whalers in Japan return to port with over 200 whales


Japan’s factory whaling ship, the “Nisshin Maru” returned to port on November 14th at the end of this year’s self-allocated whaling season in the North Pacific. This is the third year that Japan has carried out commercial whaling in the region since leaving the International Whaling Commission in 2019. As previously, 187 Bryde’s whales and…

Bryde's whale

16th November 2021


To save whales, dolphins and the world, we need a global treaty on plastic pollution


Millions of tonnes of plastic enter the environment every year impacting ecosystems and species. Plastic has been found in the air, rain, our bodies and our food chain. Emissions of plastic waste into our rivers and ocean are projected to nearly triple by 2040. That won’t just mean more beached whales with stomachs full of plastic; the human costs will…

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