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Humpback whale

Our aims and objectives

We are currently focusing on the following key areas to help save whales and dolphins.








Dead dolphin in a French driftnet

Stop Whaling

Goal:  To reduce numbers killed and the numbers of countries whaling.

A few of our successes in recent years:

  • Stopped an illegal export of whale meat from Iceland to Japan
  • Helped stop all attempts to re-start legal commercial whaling
  • Stopped illegal trade of whale meat sold in Germany and Denmark

Some areas we are currently working on:

  • Achieving culture change in Iceland and the Faroes: changing opinion and reducing consumption
  • Continuing to build international, political, legal and economic pressure  to end Japan’s whaling programme
  • Continuing to use the International Whaling Commission and other high level agreements and forums to fight attempts to bring back commercial whaling

End Captivity

Goal: to reduce the numbers held in captivity and develop sanctuaries, or release programmes, for those held.

A few of our successes in recent years:

  • Campaigned for holiday companies to stop selling trips to Seaworld and other aquaria; leading to the Virgin pledge for all aquaria to stop imports of wild caught whales and dolphins
  • Blocked the import of beluga whales to the US
  • Persuaded 40 major airlines, not to transport dolphins caught in Japanese dolphin hunts

Some areas we are currently working on:

  • Opening sanctuaries and exploring opportunities to return ex-captive dolphins to the wild
  • Phasing out dolphin captivity in Germany
  • Persuading tour operators to break links with the captivity industry

Create Healthy seas

Goal: To protect whales and dolphins by protect more of the places where they live in national waters and on the high seas.

A few of our successes in recent years:

  • Successfully lobbied the Scottish government to double the number of marine protected areas (MPAs) for whales and dolphins
  • Successfully lobbied the US government to increase protective measures for right whales, including expanding protected habitat by 40,000 sq. miles.
  • Helped Australia create the largest ever network of MPAs

Some areas we are currently working on:

  • Designing and implementing  Important Marine Mammal Areas  (IMMAs) on the high seas
  • Getting the New Zealand government to increase protection for endangered maui and hectors dolphins
  • Building on our success protecting right whales in the US: enabling an increase in the population


Ending Bycatch - Stop Deaths in Fishing Gear

Goal: To reduce the number of whale and dolphins killed and injured through entanglement in fishing nets and gear.

This is a new programme for WDC.  Some areas we are currently working on:

  • Promoting responsible gear types and fishing practice in UK waters
  • Reducing  whale entanglements off the north-east coast of the US.
  • Reducing bycatch in New Zealand