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Captivity ‘done and dusted’ in Australian state

The new regulations were introduced by NSW environment minister Matt Kean and followed inquiry into...
A minke whale is hauled aboard by hunters

Norway’s government allows hunters to kill over 1200 whales this year

Norway's government allows the minke whale hunts to go ahead under an 'objection' to the...
Bottlenose dolphin with calf

WDC joins calls for new UK laws to reverse nature’s decline

Nature is in trouble in the UK. The most recent State of Nature report showed...
Long-finned pilot whale

Pilot whales strand in New Zealand

Volunteer rescuers from Project Jonah, experts in attending strandings, were able to return nearly 30...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
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
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching

Captivity ‘done and dusted’ in Australian state

The new regulations were introduced by NSW environment minister Matt Kean and followed inquiry into...
A minke whale is hauled aboard by hunters

Norway’s government allows hunters to kill over 1200 whales this year

Norway's government allows the minke whale hunts to go ahead under an 'objection' to the...
Bottlenose dolphin with calf

WDC joins calls for new UK laws to reverse nature’s decline

Nature is in trouble in the UK. The most recent State of Nature report showed...
Long-finned pilot whale

Pilot whales strand in New Zealand

Volunteer rescuers from Project Jonah, experts in attending strandings, were able to return nearly 30...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
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...

Scottish government proposes new protected areas for marine life, including whales and dolphins

After years of campaigning by WDC and others, the Scottish government announced today that it is considering the creation of four new marine protected areas (MPAs) around its coastline, which will now go out for public consultation.

WDC first proposed the three sites that include Risso’s dolphins and minke whales back in 2011. Thanks to the help of our supporters, WDC was able to provide 36,000 signatures and supporting scientific evidence to Richard Lochhead (then Cabinet Secretary for the Environment in Scotland) in 2012. We congratulate the current Cabinet Secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, for bringing these proposed MPAs to consultation, and Scottish Natural Heritage and Marine Scotland for their work in getting them to this stage.

Whilst whales and dolphins are ‘strictly protected’ in all Scottish waters, Scotland contains some areas where significant aggregations of both species occur and these areas are essential to important activities such as raising calves, feeding and breeding. Oversight of all activities in these areas will ensure that minke whales, Risso’s dolphins and other species that rely on these important habitats can thrive.

Welcoming the news, WDC’s Policy manager in Scotland, Sarah Dolman, said: “WDC is thrilled with this announcement and we applaud the Scottish Government for taking this important step. Whales and dolphins are an essential and much loved part of Scotland’s marine environment and heritage. Designation and management of these MPAs will put Scotland on the centre stage for mobile species MPA protection and will contribute to an increasingly impressive MPA network. WDC are very proud to have proposed the three mobile species MPAs back in 2011, and to work with the local communities that help us to collect the data and the supporters who have written in support of these MPAs.

WDC has been studying the Risso’s dolphins on Lewis since 2010, where we run boat surveys to understand the calving and feeding behaviour and where one of our Shorewatch community groups record sightings all year-round from Tiumpan Head on North East Lewis, overlooking the Minch.

We see a number of Risso’s dolphins repeatedly in the same area over the years, including Lucky (a female who has a badly disfigured dorsal fin – likely the result of an interaction with a propellor) first seen by scientists in 2005 and resighted by WDC team in 2011 (accompanied by a calf of only a few months old) and again in 2015.

Nicola Hodgins, who leads the Isle of Lewis research for WDC, said: “Initial analysis of the photo-identification of the Risso’s dolphins that use the area designated as a “proposed MPA” off the NE of Lewis has provided evidence of a high rate of site-fidelity (meaning individual dolphins return to this same area year after year). Some, like Lucky, are returning with calves, others accompanied by the same pod mates as years before. One thing is for sure, this habitat is extremely important for all of them, providing opportunities for feeding, socialising and raising their young.”

The four proposed areas are:

North East Lewis proposed MPA (includes Risso’s dolphins)
Sea of the Hebrides proposed MPA (includes minke whales)
Southern Trench proposed MPA (includes minke whales)
Shiant East Bank proposed MPA

WDC has worked closely with our Scottish marine conservation colleagues at through Scottish Environment Link to get these MPAs in place.

George Berry

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.