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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...
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...

The pilot whale slaughter that also raises serious human health concerns

Once again, more pilot whales have been slaughtered in the Faroes. This time 43 whales have been killed in the first hunt of the season on the Islands. The whales were driven to shore and killed in the bay of the Faroese village Hvannasund. A total of 508 pilot whales had been killed in 2015.

The annual drive hunts on the Faroe Islands raise serious human health, animal welfare and conservation concerns. Pilot whales are very social animals and suffer severely when having to witness their family members being driven and killed. Once driven to the shore, blunt-ended metal hooks inserted into their blowholes are used to drag the whales up the beach or in the shallows, where they are killed with a knife cut to their major blood vessels.

In recent WDC´s campaigning against the hunts has taken a lower profile in the belief that overt and vociferous public pressure has only encouraged the hunts to continue and actually increase in response to public outcry. However, WDC´s more recent engagement with communities and authorities in the Faroe Islands has shown some potentially promising ways forward as we continue to seek solutions through a better understanding of these practices, and engagement with likeminded grassroots coalitions in the Faroe Islands.  No level of hunting is acceptable to WDC, and we continue to seek new ways to stop this practice.    

WDC is aware of a growing sentiment against the hunts within the Faroes Islands themselves, and believes that supporting this movement from within the country is the most sustainable approach for the longer term. 

WDC is supportive of several grassroots initiatives within the Faroe Islands. We are hopeful that this approach will continue to challenge current perceptions and attitudes towards pilot whales in the Faroe Islands and bring about incremental and positive change. 

 

About Astrid Fuchs

Astrid Fuchs leitet bei WDC Deutschland den Bereich Policy und strategische Entwicklung. Daneben koordiniert sie die EU-Arbeit und betreut die Bereiche Walfang und Delfinarien.