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Meet Charlie - bottlenose dolphin

UK government’s poor performance on the marine environment

One year ago, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow declared 2021 a 'Marine Super Year', stressing that...
A humpback whale wrapped in creel rope. Image: East Lothian Countryside Rangers

Protecting whales in Scotland – how we’re working with Scottish fishers to save lives

Whale and dolphin entanglement in fishing gear (or bycatch) is a massive issue all around...
Dangerous behaviour - snorkellers and orcas.

No way is this responsible whale watching Norway

As a new year dawns, how I wish that for once I could be writing...
Annabel Moore writing and illustrating Whales' Warning

‘Whales’ Warning by Annabel

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Annabel Moore writing and illustrating Whales' Warning

Celebrating all our amazing supporters and one incredible ten-year-old called Annabel

You, our brilliant supporters make everything our team at WDC does for whales and dolphins...
A magnificent sei whale © Christopher Swann

Grace the sei whale is dead – it’s time to stop killing whales

Imagine ... a whale. A sei whale, her body something between blue and steely grey....
Atlantic white-sided dolphin massacre 12th September 2021

Faroe Islands – out of sight but not out of mind

We have been working to end the pilot whale slaughter in the Faroe Islands for...
Fin whale (balaenoptera physalus) Gulf of California.

From managing commercial slaughter to saving the whale – the International Whaling Commission at 75

Governments come together under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to make decisions...

Arctic Adaptations

It can be very hard to find whales in the wild – they spend very little time at the surface, and not much of their body comes out of the water when they do break the line between our world and theirs.  The bright white bodies of beluga whales are easy to see from a distance when they are at the surface, but they usually appear as tiny white dots that emerge and are gone again in as little as three seconds – maybe it was just an ice floe!  Belugas lack a distinguishing feature that helps whale-watchers find other species (like orcas) at the water’s surface – a dorsal fin!  Belugas (and their cousin, the narwhal) are among the small number of whale species that don’t have fins on their back. 

For these arctic animals, lacking a dorsal fin provides a number of advantages in their unique environment: it cuts down on surface area, preventing heat loss, and allows them to travel closely under ice sheets.  Instead of the fin, belugas have a prominent dorsal ridge on their back – a firm crest that may be used to break open breathing holes in arctic ice sheets.

 

These belugas lack dorsal fins, an important adaptation in arctic waters.

This week, we’re asking home improvement mega-chain Home Depot to help keep these ice-adapted animals in the arctic waters where they belong.  On their website, Home Depot asserts that they “exercise good judgment by ‘doing the right thing’ instead of just ‘doing things right.’ We strive to understand the impact of our decisions, and we accept responsibility for our actions.”  Let’s encourage Home Depot to live up to their own high standards – send an email to tell them: “Home Depot, do the right thing and don’t sponsor Georgia Aquarium’s attempt to import wild belugas.  Whales belong in the wild!

 

Our campaign to target the sponsors of the Georgia Aquarium is winding down, but we still have a few weeks to go, and we’ve had good feedback from some of the sponsors!  By sharing your thoughts with them, you are encouraging them to learn more about the issue of captivity and exactly what they’re supporting when they sponsor the Georgia Aquarium, and they are reconsidering that decision!  See you next week for our next beluga fun fact!