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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...
Orca (ID171) breaches off the coast of Scotland © Steve Truluck.

Watching whales and dolphins in the wild can be life changing

Whales and dolphins are too intelligent, too large and too mobile to ever thrive in...
Kiska the orca

Real stories from the dark side of captivity

Since we launched our campaign, we've been talking a lot about what a dark place...

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.