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captive dolphin

Brussels bans whale and dolphin captivity

The ban includes seals, sea lions as well as whales and dolphins and means that...
Grey whale eye

Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

EU scientific body confirms stronger measures are needed to protect dolphins and porpoises from death in nets

The expert body that provides scientific advice to the European Commission on the management of...
A magical sperm whale encounter

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
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

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Holiday giant Thomas Cook stops selling tickets to Seaworld and Loro Parque

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Endangered Southern Resident orca loses newborn calf

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U.S. Defense Bill weakens protections for whales

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Doubts remain after Icelandic Marine Institute claims slaughtered whale was a hybrid not a blue

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Did Icelandic whalers really kill a blue whale?

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One step closer to more salmon for endangered Southern Resident orcas

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Narwhals and Bowhead whales threatened by new Arctic shipping routes

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Japan set to resume commercial whaling

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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...
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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...
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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
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
  • Stranding
  • Whale watching
captive dolphin

Brussels bans whale and dolphin captivity

The ban includes seals, sea lions as well as whales and dolphins and means that...
Grey whale eye

Animal culture crucial for conservation says new research paper

WDC's Philippa Brakes, together with a number of experts working on a wide range of...

EU scientific body confirms stronger measures are needed to protect dolphins and porpoises from death in nets

The expert body that provides scientific advice to the European Commission on the management of...
A magical sperm whale encounter

Can space technology tell us how many whales there are?

This exciting project is part of Deloitte's Gravity Challenge, a global programme that encourages corporates,...
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...

Surf’s up for porpoises in Wales

Surfing harbour porpoise

Rare images of porpoises surfing the waves off the coast of Wales were snapped by members of a research team from WDC over the weekend as they scanned the water from a land-based platform on the Lleyn peninsula.

Whilst this kind of behaviour is common among their bigger cousins, dolphins, it is not often that the shy little porpoise is spotted surfing the waves. In fact they are only rarely ‘porpoise’ – the term given when a porpoise or dolphin moves at speed and comes completely out of the water.

Pine Eisfeld-Pierantonio, WDC policy manager and member of the research team said; We saw some harbour porpoises just below our platform (350m off the rocks) and we couldn’t believe our eyes - they were surfing!  I have not seen this with porpoises before, only dolphins. We could make their dark shapes out through the water, just under the surface, swimming with the forming waves, sometimes staying under water and sometimes surfing the crest of the wave. Five porpoises including a mother and calf did this, and only this, for well over 30 minutes.

‘These porpoises certainly looked like they enjoyed what they were doing. They rode the wave, then you could see them swim further out to catch the next one. It looked like it was for pure enjoyment, getting a free ride along with the ‘pressure wave’ just like when people go and surf.’

The English word ‘porpoise' is derived from the Latin word for pig – porcus. Rather unflatteringly, the harbour porpoise used to be known as the 'puffing pig', because of the sneeze-like puffing sound they make when they breathe!

More on WDC’s ongoing Bardsey Island research project here

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