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Back soon!

Back soon!

Hi everyone, We thought we'd let you know that Charlie will be away from his...
Nice Trout Kesslet !

Nice Trout Kesslet !

Hi Everyone, Oh well, that is the beginning of my 2012 dolphin research season with...
The Big Miracle…

The Big Miracle…

Hi Everyone, You may have heard that there is a new film coming out starring...
Help Protect Scotland's Whales & Dolphins !

Help Protect Scotland's Whales & Dolphins !

Hi Everyone, I was through at our Scottish Dolphin Centre on Tuesday taking some launch...
Bridging The Gap…

Bridging The Gap…

Hi Everyone, I'm without a car at the moment so limited to watching for dolphins...
Orca rights: stuff and nonsense?

Orca rights: stuff and nonsense?

In the post festive haze, as we wade through the sea of discarded Christmas presents,...
Iceland – are they having a rethink on whaling?

Iceland – are they having a rethink on whaling?

According to the latest news out of Iceland, there is a potential for the government...
Going For Gold Next Time Kesslet?

Going For Gold Next Time Kesslet?

Hi Everyone, Yesterday I had Kesslet and Charlie visiting Kessock in very silvery light, and...

Update on Shanghai belugas

WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) is continuing to work with Merlin Entertainments to identify a permanent solution to secure a better future for three belugas currently housed at Shanghai Oceanworld in China, including their possible release back into the sea.

Both WDC and Merlin remain committed to trying to give these belugas a more natural life. However, it has proven very challenging to find a safe and suitable site. Not least, because the removal of these whales from their current location, and possible placement back into the wild is a hugely complex logistical operation. The challenges involved have been highlighted recently when, having identified a potential location in Russia (after months of negotiation and a substantial amount of research), the site has proven unsuitable. Our team is now actively looking at alternative locations. This includes engaging with local, national and international decision-makers and other stakeholders to make this ambitious project a reality.

The belugas cannot simply be airlifted out of Shanghai and dropped into an ocean.  As with any whale or dolphin held for a length of time in captivity, the process requires a period of detailed assessment by an expert team to ascertain how suitable they are for transportation and release back into the wild.   Assuming this goes well, and the whales are suitable for release, this needs to be in an area where the belugas would naturally be found, there is minimal threat to their continued survival; and ideally there is a possibility that they could re-join a suitable natural population. Prior to release, the belugas will need to undergo possibly lengthy rehabilitation in a sanctuary-type environment that provides optimal conditions for their health and welfare. Developing the necessary infrastructure, bringing together the expert team and obtaining official approvals from the local, national and international authorities concerned can also be costly and complex. 

We will, of course, keep you updated on progress surrounding the latest negotiations.

Please support our work to protect whales and dolphins.

Cathy Williamson

About Cathy Williamson

Policy manager - End Captivity Programme Lead