News and blogs

News

Scottish MP meets orca competition winners

Tavish Scott MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) paid a visit to Scalloway Primary School on the Shetlands Islands, Scotland earlier this week to meet the winners of his Orca competition and present them with prizes donated by WDC.

Members of the Scottish Parliament have been asked to lend political support to the protection of Scotland’s threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions,’ and Tavish was recently nominated as a Species Champion for the orca.

Chinese investment company buys stake in SeaWorld

Shanghai-based investment company, Zhonghong Group is to acquire a 21% stake in SeaWorld from private equity firm Blackstone. 

Zhonghong Group, a financial holding company focused on strategic growth opportunities in the leisure, tourism, and culture industries, will now work with SeaWorld on the concept development and design of theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers to be developed and operated by Zhonghong, including exclusive rights in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Sailor Forced to Abandon Round-the-World Race Confirms it was a Whale Strike

Earlier this month a video was released confirming French sailor Kito de Pavant’s 60-ft (18.28 m) racing yacht struck a whale on December 6th, 2016 while he was competing in the Vendee Globe yacht race. This was the eighth edition of the Vendee Globe, a solo, nonstop around-the-world race, and paired 29 of the world’s most elite sailors with the best sailing technology available.

Fishermen blamed for dolphin shootings in Italy

Increasing incidents of dolphins washing up dead with gunshot wounds around the Italian coast are being linked to some local fishermen who blame the dolphins for poor fish and squid catches.

Despite the dolphins being officially protected, it is thought that a number of the fishermen have decided to take matters into their own hands and have been shooting dolphins with spear guns and rifles.

Humpback whale off Devon coast rescued from fishing gear

A humpback whale that has been feeding off the coast of south Devon had to be rescued on Wednesday after becoming entanged in fishing gear, possible ropes from crab or lobster pots, which were wrapped around the whale's tail.

The whale has been in the area for most of the month, attracting visitors to the area to see this rare visitor to the south coast. A rescue team from British Divers Marine Life Rescue successfully cut the whale free with assistance from rescue teams from the RNLI.

NGOs take campaign against fin whaling to Boston Seafood EXPO

BOSTON SEAFOOD EXPO. Members of the “Don’t Buy from Icelandic Whalers” coalition have affirmed that their campaign will continue until Iceland permanently ends commercial whaling and international trading of whale products, despite recent news that Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf is suspending its summer hunt of endangered fin whales. The coalition encourages supermarket and food service representatives to avoid purchasing seafood from Icelandic companies tied to whaling.

Were sea otters using tools long before dolphins?

A new report suggests that sea otters in the Pacific north-west may have been using tools to unlock their prey from shells long before dolphins in other parts of the world learnt such skills.

Scientist films plankton ingesting plastic waste

A scientist has recorded a species of plankton consuming plastic microfibre, showing how the lives of even the smallest creatures in the oceans are being impacted by human waste.

Plankton are a prey of several species of large baleen whales as well as many other creatures. While the impact of larger pieces of plastic on wildlife are more obvious to see, this was the first time Dr Richard Kirby had recorded on film this type of waste being consumed by plankton.

Deaf students experience the beauty of whale song for the first time

Deaf students in the Dominican Republic have been given the opportunity to ‘hear’ whale song for the first time thanks to an innovative education project.

Using technology developed for music producers in the US, Maria Batlle, founder of Muse Seek (an education enterprise) has enabled students from the National School for the Deaf in Santo Domingo to experience the underwater chorus created during the annual migration of several thousand humpbacks from the northern Gulf of Maine to the Dominican coast.

Blogs

My Dolphin Season Gets Under Way...

After a few frustrasting weeks of playing hide and seek with Kesslet and her baby I have managed, finally, to get a few (poor) photos of them in Invernesss Harbour but I was hoping to see them nearer to my camera today at Chanonry where I had two WDC colleagues with me, Tracey and Helen, who braved the cold North East wind and misty conditions.

Taiji - an inflated symbol of perceived culture

I have the pleasure of introducing a guest blog by Kame-Kujira-Neko, a Japanese whale and dolphin advocate and author. Kame regularly blogs about whaling and dolphin hunting, mainly in Japanese. Her novel “Whales Ocean” was published in Japan in 1995.

In Japan, "Alternative facts" about whaling are spreading.

Whale Trips: First stop - meeting sperm whales off Iceland!

I’m delighted to present a guest blog by Oliver Dirr, a German writer, tourism expert and passionate traveller!  Oliver and his wife Theresa recently - in his words - “went on a trip around the world to meet some whales and learn about whale watching. First stop: the sperm whales off Iceland.”

Really Wild Weather...

It a real tempest out there in the waters of the Moray Firth today. People often ask "What do dolphins do in bad weather?" and the simple answer is...they just dive down a few feet and all is relatively serene and calm compared to what its like at the surface.