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Darwin Initiative boosts whale and dolphin protection work in Senegal

Darwin Initiative boosts whale and dolphin protection work in Senegal

WDC's work to protect significant numbers of whales and dolphins dying in fishing nets and...
WDC is ‘on a roll’ with cheeky new partnership

WDC is ‘on a roll’ with cheeky new partnership

Photo by Hal Sato We’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with leading sustainable toilet...
EU legal action against France, Spain and Sweden a big step in WDC’s campaign to stop death in nets

EU legal action against France, Spain and Sweden a big step in WDC’s campaign to stop death in nets

The European Commission has demanded that France, Spain and Sweden take immediate action to prevent the needless...
Beluga sanctuary update

Beluga sanctuary update

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...

Captured beluga whales forced into military service

According to media reports from Russia, captured beluga whales are to be used to guard naval bases, assist military divers and help kill enemy intruders. The move comes as President Putin attempts to boost Russia’s influence in the Arctic.

The reports claim that the beluga’s highly sensitive sonar capability made them potentially suitable for guarding the waters around the entrances to naval facilities. President Putin has re-opened old Soviet military bases in the Arctic in an attempt to claims the right to exploit vast energy resources in the area.

Russian and US armed forces have previously been involved in developing programmes to train seals and dolphins for military service, detecting underwater mines and training to keep enemy swimmers away from warships. However, in 2012, the US military said that it would end its training programme within five years.

Whales and dolphins used for military means are often captured and removed from their family pod. They are then held in captivity unable to travel the distances that they would in the wild each day. Many die from infections, gastric impaction (swallowing a foreign object), pneumonia, spinal fractures or drowning.