There is a growing awareness and understanding that we need to save the homes of whales and dolphins and our own futures too. We know that lots of things humans do in the ocean are just too polluting, noisy and unsustainable. Many people agree that it is time to stop treating the ocean as a bottomless dustbin and stop dumping millions of tonnes of unwanted plastics, chemicals, and waste under the waves.
Throwing away plastic things in the ocean is harmful. Plastic does not biodegrade or decompose, it injures and kills wildlife including whales and dolphins.
Harmful micro plastics (pieces of broken up plastic less than 5mm) and toxic chemicals enter marine food chains and build up to dangerous levels causing health and fertility problems for wildlife and people.
Whales and dolphins rely on their hearing more than any other sense. They use sounds to stay in touch with one another and communicate.
Some use echolocation to find food and help them find their way around their underwater world (just like bats do in the air). Noisy human activities in the ocean include drilling for oil and gas, sonar noise from ships and submarines, engine noise from huge cargo ships and cruise liners and all boats; all create underwater noise disturbance and interference. This manmade noise makes it difficult for whales and dolphins to hear one another and communicate above the din. Very loud noises or explosions damage their ears and sadly a deaf whale or dolphin cannot survive.
What can we do?
We can all help save whales and their ocean homes by not wasting things and so minimising what we throw away. If we all do our bit, together we will make a huge difference.
It is easy to use less plastic in our day to day lives and make sure we recycle all plastic we do use. We can make sure we use reusable water bottles, cups, straws, bags and face masks and stop using things that we throw away after only using once. We can have plastic free birthday parties and picnics, avoid using balloons, and encourage our families to shop plastic free. Picking up plastic litter and waste we find and putting it in the bin is important too as this stops it getting into rivers and ending up in the sea. Picking up litter on beaches is a great way to remove dangerous plastics from the ocean.
WDC is campaigning for governments to create large marine nature reserves which together will help protect almost a third of the ocean and give it a chance to recover.
These reserves include many places we know are important to whales and dolphins. WDC has already found many especially important habitats for whales and dolphins. This is an important step to help us ensure whales and dolphins have some safe places to live.