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Save the whale. Save the world

WDC invites businesses to join our brand new Climate Giant project

At WDC, we're thrilled to announce the Climate Giant Project; a brand new initiative that...
Big Whale

WDC gives Whitehall a wake up call

Just days before climate change talks between the world's leaders begin at COP26 in Glasgow,...

From whale poo to wildfire – it’s not over yet

Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which will begin on October...

Norway’s whale meat industry has gone to the dogs

Days after the Norwegian whaling industry announced that 575 minke whales were slaughtered this season...
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,...
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Iceland flouts international ban to slaughter first protected fin whale of new hunting season

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Southern Resident orca L92 missing as community returns to the Salish Sea

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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
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching
Save the whale. Save the world

WDC invites businesses to join our brand new Climate Giant project

At WDC, we're thrilled to announce the Climate Giant Project; a brand new initiative that...
Big Whale

WDC gives Whitehall a wake up call

Just days before climate change talks between the world's leaders begin at COP26 in Glasgow,...

From whale poo to wildfire – it’s not over yet

Ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, which will begin on October...

Norway’s whale meat industry has gone to the dogs

Days after the Norwegian whaling industry announced that 575 minke whales were slaughtered this season...
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...

New report reveals increase in whale and dolphin strandings in UK

WDC team attend striped dolphin stranding

A report on whale and dolphin strandings in the UK during the last seven years has revealed that the number of strandings increased by 15% on the previous period. The study was carried out by the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Between January 1st 2011 and December 31st 2017, there were 4896 reports of whale and dolphin strandings. The species most frequently involved were harbour porpoises and short-beaked common dolphins. The increase in reported strandings was largely the result of an increase in reports of porpoise strandings around the UK, and common dolphins in the southwest of the UK in particular.

Sarah Dolman, WDC's bycatch lead, welcomed the report's publication. "The UK strandings work is invaluable for us to understand the natural and human-induced causes of death in whales, dolphins, porpoises and other marine species that strand and die around our coastline. We commend the important work that the CSIP team do, and WDC are proud to assist where we can.

This latest report provides more evidence of the harm that we can cause whales and dolphins through bycatch, pollutants, ship strikes and noise pollution to name a few. WDC will use this work in all ways that we can to highlight and work to reduce these pressures that whales and dolphins face in UK waters."

52 of the strandings events involved two or more whales or dolphins, including large events involving long-finned pilot whales. 21 species in all were recorded, including Cuvier's beaked whales and sperm whales.

Post-mortems carried out revealed that disease was the major cause of death in porpoises while disease and bycatch were factors in common dolphin strandings with a large number also live-stranding.

Further analysis for the period from 1991 to 2017 show that bycatch was the major cause of death in stranded whales and dolphins during the period. Ship strikes were involved on several occasions while the study also found a relative increase in starvation in stranded harbour porpoises in recent years.

Another worrying revelation is that concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls, whose use has been banned in the UK since 1981, remain high with the greatest risk posed to long-lived whale and dolphin species such as bottlenose dolphins and orcas. The impact on orcas is particularly worrying as it has been observed that some female orcas in European populations are now failing to produce any young.

Find out more about strandings

Download the full report

About George Berry

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

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