March 28, 2018- Canadian officials announced today they will reinstate or implement new measures to protect the remaining critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. In the past 11 months, at least 18 right whales died with 12 of these whales dying in only a three month period in Atlantic Canada.
According to a report published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), with research undertaken by Aberdeen University, around 200 bottlenose dolphins make the Moray Firth and Scottish north east coast their home, and the population is ‘stable'.
WDC warmly welcomes this news. The population was at one time estimated to be around 130 dolphins, so this appears to show an increase, though there is now much more dedicated research and monitoring.
For the first time, scientists have recorded an incident in which a male orca deliberately drowned an orca calf from another pod, assisted by his own mother. The mother of the calf tried unsuccessfully to defend her offspring.
While this behaviour has been recorded in other animals and three species of dolphin, it had never been seen before in orcas.
WDC is ramping up its efforts to help reduce plastic pollution by introducing a free water refill station for walkers, cyclists and all visitors to the café at our Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay.
The Centre will no longer sell water or other drinks in single use plastic bottles as part of our wider campaign to reduce plastic waste use across WDC.
Commercial fishermen spotted the pod of 150 whales stranding at Hamelin Bay, 200 miles south of Perth. Western Australia state’s Parks and Wildlife Service arrived at the scene by morning and were assessing the health of around 15 whales left alive, attempting to herd some of the whales back out to sea.
March 20, 2018- In response to multiple fatal entanglements of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced today that it has suspended its sustainable seafood certification for Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence snow crab fishery. MSC awards its blue-fish eco-label to fisheries that meet its standards for sustainable fishing.
The government in New Zealand is reviewing the use of commercial set nets (a type of gillnet that is attached to the seabed) after the deaths of five Hector's dolphins in one net in February. The incident took place off the Banks Peninsula off the east coast of the South Island. A complete ban on their use could now be proposed.
We are excited to announce that WDC has been working with UK-based sustainable clothing manufacturer, Teemill, to design a new clothing and accessories range that supports WDC’s conservation work and campaigns around the world.
The range features 10 new designs available on 100% organic cotton t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and tote bags – made in a factory that runs on 100% renewable energy. The new designs highlight some of the key areas of WDC’s work to keep whales and dolphins safe and free, including ending captivity and the fight to rid the seas of dangerous plastic waste.
A new global map of aquatic plastic pollution has revealed that rivers in the north west of the UK have the highest microplastic pollution discovered so far anywhere in the world.
Scientists from the University of Manchester took samples from 40 sites across the region with over 500,000 microplastic particles discovered in the River Tame alone.
Unconfirmed reports on the plight of the vaquita suggest that no more than 12 now remain.
Vaquitas are the world’s smallest and one of the most endangered species of whale, dolphin or porpoise on the planet. Found only in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California, the population has declined by more than 75% in the past three years alone. In Spanish, vaquita means 'little cow' and many local people believe them to be 'mythical creatures' as most have never seen one and photographs, until recently, were lacking.