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Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
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,...

More orcas captured in the Okhotsk Sea, Russia—When will it stop?

Three orcas (killer whales) have been captured in the Okhotsk Sea in the Russian Far East, according to sources at the Far East Russia Orca Project (FEROP). The first one, captured in early July, was moved through Sakhalinsky Bay on July 15, 2015. Since then, two more have been captured, also thought to have been caught in Sakhalinsky Bay.

Of the three, two have been captured by TINRO, the Russian Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center, based in Vladivostok in charge of coordinating fisheries research in the Russian Far East (Pacific) waters. The other one was caught by a local team thought to be hired by either by the White Sphere/White Whale/Aquatoria group of companies or by Primorsky Aquarium in Vladivostok which opens its new facility this autumn.

These captures contravene expert advice. In October 2013, the world’s orca scientists and Russia’s ‘State Ecological Expertise’ of marine mammal scientists advised that a zero quota to capture killer whales be given. This advice was refused in 2014. TINRO recommended keeping the quota at 10 as in previous years. We still don’t know population sizes of these orca ecotypes and communities in the Okhotsk Sea. If previous orca captures that occurred in the US, Canada and other countries are any indication, we may be seeing entire pods and communities being disrupted for decades, or even removed entirely.

More on the fate of orcas in captivity.

Help WDC protect all orcas – Adopt a whale today.

Tall dorsal fins on male orcas

About Erich Hoyt

Erich is a Research Fellow at WDC and Co-chair of the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force. He is a director of the Far East Russian Orca Project (FEROP). View references to Erich's published material on Google Scholar. Follow Erich on Twitter.