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Real lives lost – the true dolphin, porpoise and whale stories behind the bycatch statistics

Every dolphin, porpoise and whale who dies in fishing gear was an individual with their...

No more dolphin, porpoise and whale deaths in UK fishing gear – join us in saying ‘Goodbye Bycatch’

More than 1,000 dolphins, porpoises and whales die in fishing gear in UK seas every...

Whales and dolphins have flippin’ awesome support bubbles

Friends and family all get involved in bringing up the younger generation of whales and...
two underwater no border

Joy and sadness watching Hector’s dolphins in their wild place

The widening estuary is deserted...  it was not always like this - a rusting trypot...
A mother and baby Commerson's

A breath of fresh air – why I love studying beautiful Commerson’s dolphins

Lockdown in Argentina has been long and tough and so I was excited when restrictions...
© V. Mignon

Covid and conservation – how we protected whales and dolphins together in 2020

© V. Mignon As we begin a new year, our chair of trustees, Lisa Drewe,...

Robotic dolphins – an alternative for the captive dolphin industry?

A deceptively realistic robotic dolphin, made headlines recently, causing people to ask whether robots like...

Save the whales, save the world – convincing governments that whales will help us fight the climate crisis

Whales and dolphins are awesome. They are intelligent, self-aware, socially complex and they need and...

WDC helping to shape the future for UK dolphins and porpoises

Last week, WDC took part in a two day workshop to help shape a “UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy”. We hope the strategy, once finalised will help to protect these species from bycatch, disturbance, pollution, noise and other pressures, individually as well as collectively. We warmly welcome this initiative, which has developed from an idea that was first introduced in the harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation public consultation in preparation for site-based marine protected areas back in 2016 and was also a commitment that the Scottish government agreed to back in 2017, in its programme for government.

This new UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy is being developed by Marine Scotland in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Government and UK Nature Conservation Bodies including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Natural England (NE), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The Strategy will provide regulators, public authorities and all other stakeholders with a summary of the pressures that may affect dolphin and porpoise species in UK waters, with the aim of ensuring effective management to achieve and/or maintain favourable conservation status for these species. It will develop a series of actions to support a joined up approach to management with both site-specific Marine Protected Area (MPA) and wider seas measures working together to conserve dolphin and porpoise populations.

One of the ways this can be done is to tackle the huge numbers of dolphins and porpoises that die in UK and non-UK fishing net and gear (bycatch). 76,000 of you signed our petition to call for better bycatch measures, which we presented to George Eustice, the UK Fisheries Minister. We have heard from Mr Eustice about his commitment to reduce bycatch on a number of occasions now and bycatch measures will be included in the new Strategy.

WDC was instrumental in getting the UK government to commit to tackling bycatch. Now we are at the table and helping to shape it and future actions for the other pressures that dolphins and porpoises face in UK waters. The strong public feeling, and the pressure that we have collectively brought to bear through our public campaign, and our day-to-day political work, has helped to get us to this point. We are working closely with the UK and devolved governments (Scotland, N.Ireland and Wales), as well as other NGOs and stakeholders, to continually reduce dolphin and porpoise deaths in fishing gear in UK waters in the years to come.

Your support and actions are having an impact. There will be a public consultation on the UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy and we will let you know how you can take part and continue to help to ensure that dolphins and porpoises get all the protection that they deserve, and that are required under existing laws.

PLEASE DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT THIS WORK AND HELP US STOP DOLPHIN AND PORPOISE DEATHS IN NETS