Posts by Cathy Williamson

Is a good outcome possible for the jailed whales in Russia?

It’s not often that we report good news from Russia about whales and dolphins. We have been fighting for many years to end the capture of orcas and belugas from Russian waters for the aquarium trade. The bad news continued in 2018, as dozens of whales were illegally incarcerated in holding pens in Srednyaya Bay…

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Dolphins endure extreme suffering when captured from the wild

It’s not just the dolphins who are killed or captured in Japan’s cruel hunts that suffer. It’s likely that dolphins who witness the hunts but escape, endure extreme physical and psychological suffering. All this is revealed in a new review, co-authored by WDC’s Philippa Brakes and published in the scientific Journal of Applied Animal Welfare…

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How we are working with communities to build a whale sanctuary

The beluga whale sanctuary is all about belugas, right? Yes of course it is, but wherever we work to protect whales and dolphins, human beings are involved too. It’s no different in Vestmannaeyjar, where we have partnered with the SEA LIFE Trust to build the world’s first beluga sanctuary on the island of Heimaey (Home Island), seven kilometres off the south coast of the Icelandic…

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Orcas and belugas held in appalling ‘whale jail’

You may have read the stories about the so-called ‘whale jail’ in Russia. If you have, you’ll have seen the sickening images of belugas and orcas crammed into tiny pens, having been taken from their families to supply the growing captivity industry in China and other countries. In December, we welcomed news that Russian authorities…

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How long do bottlenose dolphins survive in captivity?

We were happy to host Zoology student, Grace Long for a two week placement at our UK headquarters, in March. Grace is a student at the University of Exeter and she’s keen to get into whale and dolphin research and conservation. She joined our End Captivity team during her time with us and took on…

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Why whale and dolphin captivity is cruel – the science

In 2017, an important new academic book brought together all aspects of marine mammal welfare as a reference point for universities, students and all those working for marine mammal protection, welfare and conservation. Marine Mammal Welfare, Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare has a large section dedicated…

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How do you build a beluga whale sanctuary?

Preparing a new home for two ex-captive belugas is a wonderful world first. The future of the two captive beluga whales we are building a sanctuary for, in a remote location in Iceland, is looking more certain by the day. As the weather improves and we get the necessary endorsements for our sanctuary to be…

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Providing answers to questions raised about sanctuaries

Last month, we reported on the devastating death of Jun Jun, a female captive beluga whale at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai, who was part of our project to develop the world’s first sanctuary for belugas. Sadly, Jun Jun will now never go to a sanctuary but our work to progress this project for the…

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