Rights for whales and dolphins

WDC is working towards international recognition of the rights of whales and dolphins. Science now shows us just how intelligent some whales and dolphins are and that they often live in close social groups, some passing on knowledge from one generation to the next.

They play games just for fun, and we even know that some are smart enough to use tools. Did you know that bottlenose dolphins are self-aware – they can recognise themselves in the mirror - and some orcas help their sick pod mates. Amazing! Each individual is important to the whole group so, as individuals, don’t they have a right to a life free from cruel commercial hunting and a right not to be placed in small pools as slaves for our entertainment? We think so and we can prove it, so why not join our quest to have the rights of whales and dolphins recognised.

As well as protecting whales and dolphins, and campaigning to stop the threats they face on a daily basis, WDC is also working towards recognition of the rights of these species. What does that mean?

Did you know that bottlenose dolphins are self-aware – they can recognise themselves in the mirror? There are also examples of them grieving for lost pod mates, and of orcas feeding ill pod mates to keep them alive. Dolphins have also been seen co-operating with fishermen to get food! Fascinating isn’t it?

Each individual is important to the whole group. So, as individuals, don’t they have a right to a life free from cruel commercial hunting and a right not to be placed in small pools as slaves for our entertainment? We think so and, as you can see, we now have the scientific proof.

We now know, for example, that certain individual dolphins have a very specific role to play within their communities; also that sometimes information can be passed between individuals of the same species and sometimes between generations, in a transfer of knowledge that many scientists now recognise as ‘non-human’ culture.

One cultural group does things one way whilst other groups do things differently.

We also know that some species possess special brain cells known as spindle neurons, believed to be associated with empathy and emotional intelligence. These cells were previously thought only to be found in the brains of humans and other primates.

WDC is actively campaigning all over the world to have the freedoms that whales and dolphins deserve recognised at an international level. Why not join us and sign up to the Declaration of Rights for Whales and Dolphins?

Recognising whale and dolphin rights is a big step, but only a few decades ago conservation of wildlife was seen as revolutionary!