A highlight of this week’s Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, in Dunedin, New Zealand, was the panel discussion on killer whales in captivity. This was a unique event for the Society. In the wake of the film “Blackfish”, the book Death at Sea World, and the recent live captures of 7 killer whales in Russia, the events of the day seemed to be calling out for a response.
WDC present our work on non-lethal vessel strikes on humpback whales in the southern Gulf of Maine ~ Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand, 9-13 December
The "biennial," held every two years, is a gathering of marine mammal scientists from around the world. The theme for this year "Marine Mammal Conservation: Science Making a Difference", has shown through in the lectures, panel discussions, poster presentations, workshops and short talks over coffee breaks.
Wind, Whales, and Dolphins - the conservation impacts of marine renewables
The 20th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals is taking place this week in Dunedin, New Zealand. This is the largest international conference focused on marine mammals and WDC is there to present our conservation work to the world.
Reports of dead dolphins washing ashore with gun-shot wounds in the Gulf region were scattered throughout the media in 2012, suggesting that a more recent and disturbing trend of targeted vandalism might be surfacing. Compounding these concerns was the fear that these carcasses, washing ashore in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, might just represent only a fraction of the many possible incidences of such lethal interactions documented by investigators when bodies can be retrieved and necropsied.
WDC has a small but hardworking team at the Biennial meeting of the Marine Mammal Society taking place this week at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, NZ. At the meeting are Erich Hoyt from the UK, Philippa Brakes from NZ and Mike Bossley based in Australia, all of whom have been involved in presenting cetacean conservation material to the conference.
WDC is proud to help honor one of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy through our work and would like to share what their family shared with us regarding the upcoming anniversary of their loss. The families of those lost in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting express their gratitude for the global outpouring of support they have received in the past year and ask for privacy this weekend. They ask specifically that "On the one year mark of that horrific day, we know that many people across the country will be thinking of the children and educators so tragical
When we became aware of a new toy (Dolphin Cruiser) being marketed by LEGO which involves play dolphins, boats, and fish (labeled as dolphin food), along with an online animated game that allows you to “build your own water scooter and go waterskiing with dolphins,” our concerns were immediately raised and detailed in a letter to LEGO headquarters in Denmark and its international corporate relations team. WDC is deeply involved with wild dolphin harassment and feeding issues, especially in the U.S.
Earlier this year, the Hawai'i Fishermen's Alliance for Conservation and Tradition, Inc. submitted a petition to the federal government seeking to identify the North Pacific population of humpback whales as one distinct population segment (DPS) and then have this DPS removed from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Moby Dick may be the most famous white whale, but belugas are the true snowy natives of the sea. They don’t always have their strikingly bright skin shade, however. Belugas are born dark blueish or brownish gray, and gradually lighten as they age, until they are the solid white that they’re famous for. Even then, they keep some of the darker pigment around the very edges of their flukes and flippers. Their bright white appearance is an adaptation that helps them blend in among the arctic ice, giving them a little extra protection
In the North American office of WDC, we have spent the last year focused on The Act Right Now campaign, the goal of which was to ensure federal protections for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. Specifically, the Federal Ship Strike Rule (which was established in 2008 and requires large ships to slow down in the known habitats of right whales), which was set to expire this coming Monday (December 9th ). Research showed that in the 5 years since it was enacted, this rule was key in reducing the numbe