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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,...

Tanks Too Small to Swim

Belugas are considered slowpokes in the world of whales and dolphins (if I lived in freezing Arctic waters, I’d probably want to conserve my energy, too) but they would medal in any diving competition.  Belugas regularly make 1,000ft (305m) foraging dives, and can dive 2,300ft (700m) or more.  The maximum recorded depth for a beluga is 2,860ft (872m).  In comparison, their fellow (and much larger) deep-diver, the sperm whale, averages 1,300ft (396m) on a typical dive, though they too are capable of dives much greater.

Aquarium tanks aren’t even close to this depth.  For captive orca tanks, the law requires, based on an assumed average length of 24 feet, that pools be at least 12 feet deep and 48 feet in diameter.  For smaller belugas, assuming an average length of 14 feet, the tank dimensions shrink to 28 feet across and only 7 feet deep – that’s barely enough room to swim, let alone dive!  These tanks often have several individuals living inside them, and with the ever-rotating cast of captive whales and dolphins, it is always possible that a larger whale may join the “collection” – but the tanks will not be changed.

This week, we’re asking UPS, a global company that works in multiple countries, to protect the rights of belugas to dive anywhere.  UPS has numerous humanitarian and sustainability projects and should include protecting belugas in the wild in their efforts.  Tell them: “UPS, extend your high environmental standards to your sponsorships – don’t sponsor the Georgia Aquarium and their effort to import wild Russian belugas! Captivity is never sustainable!

Thank you for helping WDC keep belugas safe and free to dive anywhere they please!