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
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,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Dancing beluga show hides reality of capture and captivity

Yesterday’s Mail Online featured a series of, unfortunately, fairly stunning underwater photos from an aquarium in China of a beluga whale show involving circus style acrobatics between captive belugas and animal trainers. Such images published in such a widely read national newspaper only serve to encourage visitation to facilities around the world holding captive whales and dolphins, of which there are thought to be at least 50 in China alone. Meanwhile, they hide the truth behind the capture, international trade and confinement in unnatural conditions that present a significant health and welfare risk to the individuals used in these shows. 

Since 1990, well over 300 belugas have been captured from the wild in Russian waters and exported overseas for the international aquarium industry. Once captured, they may be kept for years in holding tanks awaiting export overseas and experience mortality rates above their wild counterparts, despite the threats faced by belugas in the wild. Belugas are an Arctic species adapted to living in frigid waters at the point of freezing and yet individuals are held all over the world in facilities incapable of keeping them at an appropriate temperature. WDC is working hard to influence potential importers not to display belugas in captivity, including the United States. We are also calling on President Putin to end beluga and orca captures in Russia. 

We are heartened to read so many comments of opposition posted beneath the Mail’s article, but call on the newspaper to end its support of whale and dolphin captivity, for all the welfare and conservation risks it brings. 

About Cathy Williamson

Cathy Williamson was policy manager of our End Captivity Programme until July 2021.