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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,...
Orcas at the seabed

The secrets of orca beach life

Rubbing on smooth pebbles is a generations-old cultural tradition for a particular group of orcas...

Future of European dolphins lies in EU Fisheries Committee hands TODAY!

Today (on Tuesday afternoon), MEPs from across Europe will vote on a range of fisheries measures aimed to conserve fish stocks, habitats and protected species. The vote will include measures to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales, as well as seabirds, seals and turtles, from incidental entanglement in fishing gear.

Many thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die due to bycatch in European waters every year. Here is our briefing on the necessary cetacean bycatch requirements to change this. Better – or worse – future bycatch measures are in the hands of those MEPs who sit on the EU Fisheries Committee.

The conservation groups that we work with in Europe have produced a full report on all the required fisheries measures.

The existing cetacean bycatch regulation is not as good as it could be, and compliance is not as good as it should be, as identified in this new WDC report. So the draft technical conservation measures are a welcome and desperately needed opportunity, except some MEPs are expected to take this opportunity to vote to remove and to weaken existing measures.

We have great concern that unless the bycatch language is significantly strengthened, the repeal of the existing Regulation and adoption of the new technical conservation measures may result in even higher numbers of dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear in European waters. This will especially threaten the critically endangered harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea and vulnerable harbour porpoise, bottlenose and common dolphin populations in South Western waters.

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE DICTATES WE NEED TO DO MORE

European and global dolphin bycatch and fisheries experts have written this EXPERT OPEN LETTER calling for better monitoring of fishing fleets and better measures to prevent deaths in all European seas. This call is echoed by the European Regional Agreements for the conservation of cetaceans, ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS, in their correspondence to the Commission about improving bycatch measures, back in 2016.

With our colleagues at HSI and EIA, we also wrote this piece including on the dire situation for Baltic harbour porpoises that could be prove to be the final nail in the coffin if existing measures are removed. 

The next step after this vote is for the measures to be voted in Plenary session in European Parliament, or to be negotiated behind closed doors between PECH and the Council. We will report back once the vote has taken place. You can watch the vote live, from 2.30pm today, on Tuesday 21st November.