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More important ocean areas for whales and dolphin protection identified

Scientists and observers from many different countries have identified and mapped 36 new Important Marine...
captive dolphin

Las Vegas dolphin facility to close

Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas is to permanently close....

WDC citizen science project nominated for Scottish nature award

The success of WDC's Shorewatch programme was acknowledged recently after being nominated in the Citizen...

Whale meat fetches record high at Japan auction

Sei whale meat is being sold at a record high in Japan according media reports...

WDC demands change to law after study links hundreds of seal deaths to ducted ship propellers

A coalition of 26 wildlife and conservation groups, including WDC is demanding a Scottish, UK and international ban on the use of a specific type of propeller after a study conducted for the Scottish government by St Andrews University has linked their use to the deaths of hundreds of seals.

The research found that seals trapped in ducted propeller systems used on some workboats suffer horrific and fatal “corkscrew” injuries from the blades that sit inside a casing.  Ducted propellers make them more efficient at low speeds, but it now appears that the seals are sucked in and become trapped between the propeller blades and the casing.

“This is one of the UK’s biggest marine conservation and welfare tragedies,” said WDC’s Northeast Atlantic programme man­­ager, Sarah Dolman, who co-ordinated a joint protest letter to the Scottish government.

“Despite the worst-affected populations of harbour seals heading for local extinction, we have not seen any evidence that the UK and devolved governments plan to act to stop these needless deaths.”

About 100 seals have been officially confirmed killed in Scotland, most of them since 2010. However, many carcasses are not washed ashore and reported, so the numbers are likely to be a lot higher according to the study.