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148 more fin whales killed in waters around Iceland

The Icelandic fin whaling season has now ended with a final, grim tally of 148...
Sperm whale underwater

Man arrested on suspicion of selling whale teeth

A man has been arrested by police in Oxfordshire following the discovery of a large...

Hundreds of whales killed as Norwegian hunt season ends

The end of the whaling season in Norway has been announced with 580 minke whales killed...

Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings
Sperm whale © Douglas Hoffman

Featured policy news item

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc magna elit, gravida at lectus vitae,...
sea_world_orlando_rob_lott

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque Following a three...

Endangered Southern Resident orca loses newborn calf

In heartbreaking news from the Pacific Northwest, the Center for Whale Research has reported that...
srkw_shoup_2003_text

U.S. Defense Bill weakens protections for whales

24 July 2018, Plymouth, MA: The FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report was released...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...
f0k5103-2

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...
iron_gate_dam_klamath

One step closer to more salmon for endangered Southern Resident orcas

On June 28, 2018, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) filed “The Definite Plan” for...
monodon_monoceros-wdc3

Narwhals and Bowhead whales threatened by new Arctic shipping routes

A NASA-funded study has warned that marine creatures like whales and dolphins will be exposed...
japanese_whaling_2005_-_minke_whales_credit_jeremy_sutton-hibbert_for_use_until_28.2.17_1

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...
hvalfjordur_035

Iceland flouts international ban to slaughter first protected fin whale of new hunting season

Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has slaughtered an endangered fin whale today in defiance of...
l92_dave_ellifrit_cwr

Southern Resident orca L92 missing as community returns to the Salish Sea

We are very sad to share news announced today by the Center for Whale Research...
whale_alert_flag_san_juan_county

New actions in the Northwest to help Southern Resident orcas and salmon

As the Washington State Task Force starts to examine threats to the endangered Southern Resident...
All news
  • All news
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Corporates
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching

148 more fin whales killed in waters around Iceland

The Icelandic fin whaling season has now ended with a final, grim tally of 148...
Sperm whale underwater

Man arrested on suspicion of selling whale teeth

A man has been arrested by police in Oxfordshire following the discovery of a large...

Hundreds of whales killed as Norwegian hunt season ends

The end of the whaling season in Norway has been announced with 580 minke whales killed...

Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings
Sperm whale © Douglas Hoffman

Featured policy news item

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc magna elit, gravida at lectus vitae,...
sea_world_orlando_rob_lott

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque Following a three...

Endangered Southern Resident orca loses newborn calf

In heartbreaking news from the Pacific Northwest, the Center for Whale Research has reported that...
srkw_shoup_2003_text

U.S. Defense Bill weakens protections for whales

24 July 2018, Plymouth, MA: The FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report was released...

Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

Experts remain sceptical of initial test results issued by the Icelandic Marine Institute, which indicate...
f0k5103-2

Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting* They say a...
iron_gate_dam_klamath

One step closer to more salmon for endangered Southern Resident orcas

On June 28, 2018, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) filed “The Definite Plan” for...
monodon_monoceros-wdc3

Narwhals and Bowhead whales threatened by new Arctic shipping routes

A NASA-funded study has warned that marine creatures like whales and dolphins will be exposed...
japanese_whaling_2005_-_minke_whales_credit_jeremy_sutton-hibbert_for_use_until_28.2.17_1

Japan set to resume commercial whaling

Reports from Japan suggest that the government they will formally propose plans to resume commercial...
hvalfjordur_035

Iceland flouts international ban to slaughter first protected fin whale of new hunting season

Icelandic whaling company Hvalur hf has slaughtered an endangered fin whale today in defiance of...
l92_dave_ellifrit_cwr

Southern Resident orca L92 missing as community returns to the Salish Sea

We are very sad to share news announced today by the Center for Whale Research...
whale_alert_flag_san_juan_county

New actions in the Northwest to help Southern Resident orcas and salmon

As the Washington State Task Force starts to examine threats to the endangered Southern Resident...

Latest UK report highlights lack of action to stop hundreds of dolphins dying in fishing nets

The latest report on the numbers of dolphins and porpoises killed in fishing nets and gear in waters around the UK reveals the estimated total caught accidentally by the UK fishing industry is still alarming high, and highlights that too little is being done to stop these unnecessary deaths.

The report, released by Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) estimates that 285 common dolphins were caught in UK gillnets alone in 2016, a similar number to previous years. No estimates are provided for the numbers of dolphins accidentally caught in trawlers. In addition, about 1200-1482 porpoises were reported caught in UK gillnet fisheries, depending on whether pingers (acoustic devices attached to nets to drive marine mammals away) were in use.

As data is limited, there is a lack of confidence in the numbers of deaths that are reported. The number of stranded dolphins alone indicates real figures are likely to be far higher, particularly for common dolphins that die in large numbers in the south west of the UK and wider area each year. Dolphins are also caught in the nets of other nation’s vessels fishing in and around UK waters.

The report highlights the benefits of pinger use and reductions in porpoise deaths where they are employed in gillnets. Pingers are required on some vessels under EU regulation, but are the only method used by UK fishing fleets to reduce the numbers of marine mammals dying in nets.

Pingers will also drive porpoises away from important feeding grounds, and so there are uncertainties and concerns around their use, particularly in protected areas. In addition, the use of pingers is not fully enforced to ensure the batteries on the devices are working and appropriately set to be effective.

 ‘This annual report once again shows not just an indication of how many deaths are occurring, but also how few solutions are being employed to reduce the toll’, says WDC’s Sarah Dolman. ‘Pingers are not yet proven for dolphins and, although some fishermen are using them voluntarily on gillnets deployed from small vessels and trawlers, and we wholeheartedly support all voluntary efforts to reduce dolphin and porpoise deaths, there is no requirement for this so the approach is piecemeal. We need to use all effective solutions available – and urgently where scientists have shown that bycatch levels may be having a population level effect, such as for common dolphins off the southwest.

YOU CAN HELP. STOP THOUSANDS OF DOLPHINS, PORPOISES AND WHALES DYING IN FISHING GEAR EVERY YEAR IN UK SEAS.

‘Whilst the UK is following the letter of the EU law, and does more than most other member states, clearly we are not doing enough. Fisheries Minister, George Eustice has publically stated the government’s commitment to improve bycatch efforts, which is very welcome news. It is important that the UK does more to continually reduce the numbers of dolphins and porpoises dying in fishing gear each year and we look forward to working with them and the fishing industry to achieve this aim.’

 ‘These deaths have continued for decades’, says Dolman. Pingers do the job of scaring some porpoises away from nets but there are other consequences that need to be addressed. Consideration needs to be given to more sophisticated solutions like using pingers alongside other approaches including restricting fishing in certain areas of high densities of dolphins or porpoises at certain times of the year where bycatch occurs.

‘Despite the evidence and recent reviews by scientific experts and the EU Commission that monitoring and mitigation measures are not currently fit for purpose, we are concerned that bycatch measures will not be improved at the EU level, and they are clearly not doing enough to act on this either. In the UK and across the EU, we need to evaluate and increase monitoring and bycatch reduction efforts’