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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...

New Zealand announces new whale sanctuary

The NZ government has just launched the Kaikoura Whale Sanctuary on the east coast of the South Island. The area is biologically rich and includes 500m deep ocean canyons which are home to giant squid which is the preferred prey of sperm whales.

The sanctuary is nearly 5000 square kilometres in area and provides protection for the sperm, humpback, Southern right, blue, killer and other whales that frequent the area. It is particularly relevant for the local and well established sperm whale tourism industry which is now worth $134 million dollars a year.

Kaikoura is undoubtedly an excellent location for watching whales. The deep canyons are close to shore and the frequently sighted sperm whales make a spectacular sight seen against the area’s snow capped mountains.

WDC applauds the NZ government for this important step and hopes that a desperately needed New Zealand Dolphin (comprising the Hector’s and Maui’s dolphins) sanctuary will follow shortly. The NZ government has recognised the economic importance of the Kaikoura whale watching industry but it also needs to recognise that its own unique dolphin is a very important tourism drawcard as well.