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Stop whaling

How can we stop the hunting and slaughter of whales and dolphins?

Commercial whaling is banned. Yet every year, Japan, Norway and Iceland kill around 1,500 whales. Thousands more dolphins and small whales are slaughtered in bloody hunts in countries around the world.

How are whales hunted?

In the Atlantic Ocean, a majestic minke whale comes up for air. As she breaches the surface, an explosive crack sounds, and then a thud as the harpoon slams into her head, penetrating half a metre deep. As the defenceless whale tries to pull away, terrified and in agony, the grenade inside the harpoon explodes, blasting shrapnel into her body. If she is lucky, she dies quickly, but often it takes up to an hour or more. This awful scenario is repeated in all the oceans of the world where whales are hunted. It has to stop.

Why do people hunt whales?

Over a thousand whales are killed every year because some people want to make money from selling their meat and body parts. Their oil, blubber and cartilage are used in pharmaceuticals and health supplements. Whale meat is even used in pet food, or served to tourists as a ‘traditional dish’. Exploiting the bodies of whales for money is illegal in most countries, so how can it be allowed to continue?

Why can some countries continue whaling?

Whaling for profit was banned in 1986. But, reluctant to give up the market for whale meat and products, Japan, Iceland and Norway continue to hunt and kill fin, minke and sei whales every year. All three nations believe they have a right to hunt whales: Japan claims its objective is scientific research, whilst Norway objects to the ban and Iceland hunts under a dubious ‘reservation’ to the whaling ban.

Why are dolphins hunted too?

Despite it being illegal in most countries, dolphins (and small whales) are hunted in many places around the world mostly for the same reasons as their larger cousins – people want to eat their meat and utilise their body parts. In Taiji, Japan however, young animals are removed and sold into a life in captivity. Deliberate hunting of small whales and dolphins is a rapidly accelerating conservation concern for many species and populations, with dolphins and small whales used for food, bait, currency or supposed traditional medicines and charms.  Arguably the most notorious and bloody hunts take place in Taiji, Japan and the Faroe islands where dolphins and small whales are driven onto beaches or into coves, before being slaughtered. So controversial is the Taiji hunt and the method of slaughter  that the hunters erect  a curtain across the shoreline to hide their activities from the public gaze. However, thousands more dolphins and small whales are deliberately and opportunistically hunted in many more countries around the world.

How your support can help

  • Expose the suffering – by supporting WDC, you can help expose and bring an end to the brutal dolphin hunts.
  • Campaign against whaling – wherever governments make decisions about the future of whaling you’ll help us be there to fight for the rights of whales.
  • Reduce demand for whale meat – you can help us inform tourists about the cruel slaughter they are supporting every time they order whale meat while on holiday in a whaling region.
  • Whale watching, not eating – help us work with local communities to encourage whale watching as a kinder and more sustainable way of earning income from the whales in their waters.

Successes

Cut supply routes WDC supporters like you helped persuade the EU Parliament to vote in favour of stopping whale meat being moved through EU ports.

Laws changed - WDC completed a review of Danish regulations on whale meat imports into Denmark which resulted in changes to Danish law, and rules for import are now much stricter.

Rallying support - WDC ran a campaign to call on the EU Parliament to make whaling a deal-breaker in trade negotiations with Japan, and collected almost 270,000 signatures. The petition is now being considered in the final decision on the trade agreement.

Online whale meat sales stopped – WDC exposed and stopped illegal online whale meat sales in Japan – including in dog treats!

Icelandic tourists shun whale meat – we are telling tourists that they are propping up a dying industry. A decade ago, 40% of tourists sampled whale meat: today, the figure is around 12%.

Support the fight to stop whaling

Whales and dolphins continue to be slaughtered. They need your help. Save them by getting involved today.

Our campaigns 

Whaling is devastatingly cruel and completely unnecessary. There is no place for it in the 21st century. We need your help to stamp it out forever.

Help us stop whaling this rugby world cup

Let’s support the majority of Japanese as well as our rugby teams during the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Stop tourists eating whales

In Iceland Norway and Greenland, tourists eat much of the whale meat, believing they are experiencing local culture. If we can educate holidaymakers we can end the demand.

EU must use trade deal to get tough on Japan

The EU has a Free Trade Agreement with Japan. Together we've been heaping on the pressure to use these talks to get tough on whaling.

No whale meat in EU ports

Ships carrying whale meat to Japan have been docking in EU ports, including the UK. Together, we've been calling for a ban on the transit of whale meat through the EU and we're making progress.

Campaigning on an international stage

We work through the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates whaling, to keep the ban and expose illegal hunts.

Dive deeper

Find out more about the countries involved in whaling, how many whales are being killed and how whaling is regulated by the International Whaling Commission.

Whaling in Iceland

Iceland hunts endangered fin whales and minke whales.

Fin whale

Whaling in Japan

Japan continues to hunt whales in the North Pacific and Antarctica.

Antarctic minke whale

Whaling in Norway

Norway allows hundreds of minke whales to be hunted.

Common minke whale

Whaling in Greenland

Find out how tourists unwittingly support whaling in Greenland.

Humpback whale breaching

What is Aboriginal Subsistence whaling?

Some communities are allowed to hunt small numbers of whales for cultural reasons and to sustain their needs (rather than hunting just for profit). However, this right is increasingly being abused.

Latest whaling news

First Bryde’s whale auction held after Japan resumes commercial hunts

First Bryde’s whale auction held after Japan resumes commercial hunts

An auction of Bryde’s whale meat has taken place in Japan, the first since the Japanese...
WDC joins celebrities’ call for G20 action over Japanese government’s return to commercial whale slaughter

WDC joins celebrities’ call for G20 action over Japanese government’s return to commercial whale slaughter

Celebrities and conservation and welfare organisations (including WDC) from across the globe are calling for...
No fin whales to be hunted in Icelandic waters this summer

No fin whales to be hunted in Icelandic waters this summer

According to an announcement by the company behind Iceland’s fin whale hunts, Hvalur hf, no...
Acclaimed fashion designer Katharine Hamnett joins WDC fight to halt whaling

Acclaimed fashion designer Katharine Hamnett joins WDC fight to halt whaling

Fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, best known for her bold political statement t-shirts, has lent her...

Please help us stop the slaughter

By adopting a whale or dolphin, by making a kind donation, or by fundraising for WDC, you can help us end the barbaric killing of whales and dolphins.

Orca - Rob Lott

Adopt

Adopt a whale or dolphin and help us end whaling.

Bottlenose dolphins leaping

Donate

Your gifts help us take action to stop the slaughter.

Humpback whale spyhop

Fundraise

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