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Humpback whale. Image: Christopher Swann

A story about whales and humans

As well as working for WDC, I write books for young people. Stories; about the...
Risso's dolphin at surface

My lucky number – 13 years studying amazing Risso’s dolphins

Everything we learn about the Risso's dolphins off the coast of Scotland amazes us and...
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...

A Family Heritage

Belugas, particularly females, have high site fidelity – meaning they return to the same areas year after year.  This is common in many whale species; the young learn from their mothers the good hunting grounds and safe wintering areas and continue the “family tradition” of visiting the same places.  Belugas will return each year to the same estuaries where they were born, even when they are fully mature.  While they may not spend the entire year in family groups, individuals check in with relatives and continue their family associations each summer.  Not a bad way to spend a summer vacation!

In captivity, belugas are moved between oceanariums as the needs of the “captive stock” dictate – for breeding purposes, to replace one who has died, or to create a bigger attraction.  They do not choose when and where they travel, and they certainly do not get to visit with family each year.  They don’t even get to choose their social groups; their tankmates and assemblages are decided by those who keep them in captivity.

This week, we’re asking Ford Motor Company to maintain their heritage of family and community by protecting the beluga families of the Arctic.  Please join WDC in telling Ford’s Community & Environment department: “Ford Motors: you strive to be sustainable – don’t support Georgia Aquarium’s effort to import wild belugas.  Captivity is not sustainable!

Thank you for protecting beluga families! See you next week for another action alert and beluga fun fact!