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Dead sperm whale in The Wash, East Anglia, England. © CSIP-ZSL.

What have dead whales ever done for us?

When dead whales wash up on dry land they provide a vital food source for...
Risso's dolphin © Andy Knight

We’re getting to know Risso’s dolphins in Scotland so we can protect them

Citizen scientists in Scotland are helping us better understand Risso's dolphins by sending us their...
Pilot whales pooing © Christopher Swann

Talking crap and carcasses to protect our planet

We know we need to save the whale to save the world because they are...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Three fin whales Gulf of California.

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...

Why do whales and dolphins strand on beaches?

People often ask me 'why' whales and dolphins do one thing or another.  I'm a...
A spinner dolphin leaping © Andrew Sutton/Eco2

Head in a spin – my incredible spinner dolphin encounter

Sri Lanka is home to at least 30 species of whales and dolphins, from the...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...
Kiska the orca

Real stories from the dark side of captivity

Since we launched our campaign, we've been talking a lot about what a dark place...

Will the Colombian Government ban the import of the dolphin-deadly fish, mota?

Amazon River dolphin above the surface swimming/porpoising This week, Dr Fernando Trujillo representing Fundacion Omacha, WDC’s partner in Colombia, had an important meeting with the Colombian Health Ministry at Government headquarters in Bogota.  Fernando presented information about the cruel, unsustainable and illegal killing of river dolphins (botos) in Brazil for fish bait.  The vast majority of the fish (known as piracatinga in Brazil and mota in Colombia) which is caught using dolphin –deadly methods is exported for consumption in Colombia.  People living in Colombian cities are buying this fish in their local supermarkets without any idea of its origins or the fact that botos are being killed and used as bait to supply it.

piracatinga / mota fish 28 people all working at a senior level in the Colombian Government  heard from Fernando about the shockingly high levels of mercury found in mota – not only are dolphins dying to supply this fish; people eating it are putting their own health at risk.  Mota fish is full of mercury – a highly toxic metal.  Mercury is a by-product from gold mining operations in the Amazon – it enters the food chain and bioaccumulates, reaching dangerous levels in top predators such as river dolphins. Mota is a carnivorous scavenger fish and those eating boto flesh bait are likely to contain the highest levels of mercury in their bodies of all.

Ministers and officials agreed that based on the evidence Fernando presented, they should urgently launch their own investigation into the mercury levels in this fish and look at the danger to human health. Fundacion Omacha and WDC are lobbying the Colombian Government to ban the import of mota into Colombia, currently the biggest market by far.  We are convinced that dramatically reducing the demand for this fish will put pressure on Brazil to ban fishing for it altogether. 

Currently huge amounts of this deadly fish are being imported into Colombia and mislabelled by traders, so that people have absolutely no idea what they are eating.  This is now of huge concern to the Colombian authorities.

 You can learn much more about this appalling hunt for botos and misleading of the Colombian public by watching this film made by Fundacion Omacha and sponsored by WDC.