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Mindful conservation – why we need a new respect for nature

'We should look at whales and dolphins as the indigenous people of the seas -...
tins of whale meat

How Japan’s whaling industry is trying to convince people to eat whales

Japan's hunters kill hundreds of whales every year despite the fact that hardly anyone in...
Common dolphins © Christopher Swann

Did you know dolphins have personalities?

Kidzone - quick links Fun Facts Our Goals Curious kids Kids blogs Fantastic fundraisers Gallery...
Microplastics on beach

Blue whales and the menace of microplastics – how we’ll solve this problem

Our love affair with plastic began in the 1950s when it revolutionised manufacturing. But what...
A dolphin called Arnie with his shell.

Dolphins catch fish using giant shell tools

In Shark Bay, Australia, two groups of dolphins have figured out how to use tools...
Common dolphins at surface

Did you know that dolphins have unique personalities?

We all have personalities, and between the work Christmas party and your family get-together, perhaps...
Leaping harbour porpoise

The power of harbour porpoise poo

We know we need to save the whale to save the world. Now we are...
Holly. Image: Miray Campbell

Meet Holly, she’s an incredible orca leader

Let me tell you the story of an awe-inspiring orca with a fascinating family story...

Whale for Sale! New WDC report exposes the global trade in dead whales

WDC announces the release of a new report which highlights the global scale of killing and trade in whales in the 21st century. We demonstrate that consumption or utilization of whale and dolphin meat and by-products is not confined to just a few nations, as many people believe. Rather, killing and trade is taking place, in the present day, at a scale that is both shocking and unacceptable. The grim truth is that whales are killed not only for their meat but for their blubber, fatty tissue and other body parts. This appalling trade is taking place across a shocking number of countries – and it’s happening on our doorstep.

Since the moratorium on commercial whaling was introduced in 1986, more than 35,000 great whales have been killed, along with hundreds of thousands of dolphins and smaller whale species, which are not covered by the moratorium. Whilst commercial demand for whale meat has greatly declined in recent decades, the whalers refuse to accept that whaling is a dying industry and continue the slaughter – adding more dead whales to those already stockpiled in industrial freezers. Over the last couple of years, WDC has helped to expose the illegal sale of whale meat in Berlin and Copenhagen; the use of Icelandic fin whale products in dog food and beer, and even to fuel whaling vessels; the use of whale oil in skin cream on sale in Russia and the use of whale skin to infuse cocktails in an upmarket London bar. 

We also document several recent instances of ships carrying whale meat docking in various EU ports, including Hamburg, Rotterdam, Le Havre and Southampton. Unfortunately, whilst all whale and dolphin species are strictly protected under EU legislation and the EU further bans international trade in whale products, it is currently legal for whaling countries such as Iceland, Norway and Japan to trade whale products with each other and to transit these products through EU ports – so long as these products don’t actually pass through customs.

WDC wants to close this outrageous loophole in CITES regulations in order to ban all transit of whale meat and products through EU ports. We also call on conservation-minded governments worldwide to work towards a better implementation of the existing legislation meant to protect whales and dolphins from exploitation and to work together to create a global network for the effective protection of small cetaceans.

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching