You may remember that at the end of June, WDC was invited to Miami to present to senior executives at the Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company.
Last Wednesday night (August 8th), my heart sank as I read my messages: Tahlequah (J35) was spotted near the Olympic Peninsula off the coast of Washington State, still carrying the body of her dead daughter, 15 days after her birth (and death).
**WARNING: THIS BLOG CONTAINS IMAGES AND DESCRIPTIONS THAT YOU MAY FIND UPSETTING**
When you hear the words ‘dolphin hunts’ it’s likely that you think of Japan or the Faroe Islands. Although they are complicit in the deaths of many thousands of individuals, they are sadly and probably surprisingly, not the worst offenders.
Entanglement in fishing gear (bycatch) is the biggest global threat to dolphins, porpoises and whales. Not only is it the cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths every year, it is an awful way to die. The frustrating thing is, with a joined-up, concerted effort, we could so easily save lives.
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.
Fighting for whale and dolphin protection is rarely as glamorous as it might sound. Much of it takes place in long meetings, where evidence is presented and decisions are made. Some of the most important events in a whale conservationist’s calendar are the various meetings of the International Whaling Commission, or IWC, the body that regulates whaling.
*Warning - this blog contains an image that you may find upsetting*
They say a week is a long time in politics. Well it also feels a long time in whale conservation!
Elspeth Shears is a residential volunteer at the WDC Scottish Dolphin Centre in Spey Bay. Our visitor centre is on the Moray Firth, north east Scotland, home to the most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins in the world.
Every year, people gather on cliff tops in the north of Scotland to watch out for orcas, some of whom come down from their winter herring-hunting grounds in Iceland on the look out for seals in the early Scottish summer. Run by the Sea Watch Foundation and supported by WDC, we call this event Orca Watch.
I was on an early morning beach dog walk on Monday, our first day back on the Isle of Lewis this year when I saw a fin slice out of the water in the quiet, still bay in front of our accommodation. I held my breath. Not just any fin, but a Risso’s dolphin!