Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Kids blogs
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Humpback whale underwater

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Black Sea common dolphins © Elena Gladilina

The dolphin and porpoise casualties of the war in Ukraine

Rare, threatened subspecies of dolphins and porpoises live in the Black Sea along Ukraine's coast....
WDC's Ed Fox, Chris Butler-Stroud and Carla Boreham take a message from the ocean to parliament

Taking a message from the ocean to parliament

It's a sad fact that whales and dolphins don't vote in human elections, but I...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Tokitae in captivity

Talking to TUI – will they stop supporting whale and dolphin captivity?

Last Thursday I travelled to Berlin for a long-anticipated meeting with TUI senior executives. I...

Earth Day Q&A with Waipapa Bay Wines’ marketing director, Fran Draper

We've been partnered with Waipapa Bay Wines since 2019 so for this year's Earth Day,...

Few cheer as Icelandic fin whalers embark on their bloody mission

 

Late last night, I sat at my kitchen table monitoring Icelandic vessel traffic online – a vigil made somewhat less lonely by the knowledge that my counterpart in the US, whaling campaigner Kate O’Connell, was doing the exact same thing.  Despite Kristjan Loftsson’s recent assertions that he would resume fin whaling this year after two summers without putting to sea, my heart still sank as the website suddenly flashed up ‘underway’  to indicate that Kristjan Loftsson’s two whaling vessels, the Hvalur 8 and 9, had left port and were heading for the open sea.

This first fin whaling tour since 2010 made tv news in Iceland and the image of those boats gliding silently out of Reykjavik harbour had a sinister feel. I contacted our friends at Elding Whale Watching and they reported that they had been overtaken by the fin whaling boats as they took passengers out for an evening whale watch cruise. I can only imagine how bleak they must have felt as they took people out to watch live whales whilst knowing that those ominous-looking vessels had a far deadlier mission. Elding reported that the whalers would likely be travelling far out to sea in search of fin whales, maybe 170 or more miles out, in the waters between Iceland and Greenland.

There is a grain of comfort in the report that this time, very few people stood on the pier as the fin whalers left.  It was a different story last time: in 2010, the pier was crowded with people cheering the vessels as they set off.

As support for the whalers wanes within Iceland, I fervently hope that the voices of those of us fighting to save the whales can be heard: ever louder.

 

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching