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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...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...
Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

Local community helps piece together Risso’s dolphin puzzle

Thousands of photographs from members of the public have been published today in two WDC...

Tesco joins new initiative to help protect whales and dolphins

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer has joined WDC, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Royal Society...

Study suggests whales are ingesting microplastics in alarming quantities

A new study into plastic pollution and its effects on the marine environment has confirmed that whales are ingesting microplastics in alarming quantities. 

A team from the University of Siena’s looked at fin whales and whale sharks in the Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Cortez respectively.  

Unlike toothed whales, filter feeding whales like the fin open their mouths to take in huge volumes of water and prey, such as krill or small fish. The water then floods back out through the whales baleen filters leaving the prey for the whale to then swallow. 

However, this feeding process also means there is the potential for them to take in substantial amounts of microplastic (less than 5mm wide) floating in the water.

Exposure to these plastic-associated toxins pose a major threat to the health of these whales since it can alter the hormones, which regulate the body’s growth and development, metabolism, and reproductive functions, among other things,”  said Professor Maria Cristina Fossi of the University of Siena.

For more on plastic pollution and how you can help visit WDC’S NOTWHALEFOOD site. BE A PLASTIC HERO! Plastic is #NotWhaleFood.