I'm the education officer at WDC's Scottish Dolphin Centre and I’ve just spent a week in Scottish Parliament Holyrood in Edinburgh, with my colleague, WDC Policy Officer, Katie Dyke, chatting with Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) to showcase WDC’s work in Scotland and inspire them to help protect whales and dolphins.
It was a busy and encouraging week with almost 50 MSPs stopping by our stand to show their support for WDC, including the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. We were based in the bustling Member’s Lobby and it was fascinating to see the busy working lives of all the parliamentary staff.
We took along some fin-tastic resources for our stand such as real and replica whale and dolphin bones, life-size cut-outs of a few whale and dolphin species, as well as a fabulously fun Whale of Fortune game for MSPs to have a spin at with the chance of winning a little prize.
We had some inspiring conversations with MSPs about what can be done to protect whales and dolphins around Scotland from threats such as entanglement in fishing gear and disturbance from water-users. We also discussed how we look forward to a public consultation happening this year for the marine protected areas we proposed for Risso’s dolphins and minke whales.
We were so encouraged by the response we received from MSPs, it feels as though the recent public groundswell against plastic pollution has driven a momentum for further marine conservation action.
Some amazing pledges for whales were made, lots of photos were taken and some supportive tweets from MSPs.
Thank you so much to Scottish Parliament for having us, to Richard Lochhead MSP for sponsoring the stall and to all of the MSPs who stopped by to support WDC and our work to protect whales and dolphins.