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Common bottlenose dolphin wild and free © Tim Stenton

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Guardians of the Amazon: protecting the endangered river dolphins

In my last blog, I shared the devastating impact of the climate crisis on the Amazon and the river dolphins who call it home. But that’s not the only threat facing these remarkable beings. As human populations continue to transform rivers and pollute waters to serve our own needs, the future for these dolphins is looking particularly bleak. So today, I want to tell you how we’re working to ensure their survival by supporting the communities that live alongside them.

Amazon river dolphins. Image: Fernando Trujillo/Fundacion Omacha

Amazon tragedy as endangered river dolphins die in hot water

The climate crisis is accelerating at such an alarming rate that some whale and dolphin populations haven’t got time to adapt. More frequent and severe droughts and heatwaves are threatening the survival of species and ecosystems that are crucial to our own existence. When 155 endangered river dolphins died suddenly in Lake Tefé in Brazil, this heartbreaking event gave us a stark warning of the severity of the situation.

Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin © Mike Bossley/WDC

WDC in Japan – Part 3: Restoring freedom to dolphins in South Korea

In my last blog, I shared my spectacular encounter with digital whales and dolphins, now I want to tell you about the real dolphins I had the chance to marvel at in the wild from Jeju Island in South Korea. The best part of the story is that some of them were once in captivity but have been successfully released into the wild thanks to the tireless work of an organisation called Hot Pink Dolphins. Today, these dolphins swim wild and free again, reunited with their original family. Since South Korea is only a stone’s throw away from Japan, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to meet the team responsible.

Wintery scene in Iceland

Seeking sanctuary – Iceland’s complex relationship with whales

Iceland is an incredible island full of contrasts – from fiery volcanos to icy glaciers, thundering waterfalls to cavernous rift valleys. Amidst all the wonder, one sobering paradox looms: while the seas are home to populations of wild whales, docked in the port two lone, harpoon-equipped whaling ships threaten these amazing beings.

Whaling ship Hvalur 8 arrives at the whaling station with two fin whales

A summer of hope and heartbreak for whales in Icelandic waters

Now that the 2023 whaling season in Iceland has ended, it’s time to reflect on the whirlwind of events that unfolded for the fin whales in Icelandic waters. We have been at the forefront of efforts to end the slaughter, and this season was a rollercoaster of emotions, with moments of hope that an end to whaling was in sight, and heartache as 25 sentient beings fell victim to the harpoons.

Pilot whale

How we need to support Faroese communities to end the whale and dolphin hunts

Change is in the air as people wake up to the reality that our planet and the species we share it with cannot be treated as endless resources. This awakening has taken root in Iceland, where a majority now opposes whaling. Our goal is to extend this growing appreciation of whales and dolphins to the Faroe Islands, where a centuries-old culture of hunting pilot whales persists.