News and blogs

News

Australian marine park faces court case over advertising claims

A marine park in Australia, Coff's Harbour Dolphin Marine Magic, is being taken to court over its advertising claims that dolphins held at the park are "happy and healthy".

Animal welfare charity, Australians for Animals, claims that the public are being misled under Australian consumer law and that the dolphins suffer from stress and the risk of early death.

The case will now be heard in the Federal Circuit Court. Five bottlenose dolphins are currently held at the park.

Whales whisper to avoid attack

Most whales are known for their loud underwater calls that can reach across many miles of ocean, but scientists have revealed that newborn humpback whales and their mothers frequently whisper to each other as part of a defence mechanism against attack.

The study, by researchers from Denmark and Australia revealed unique, intimate forms of communication between mothers and calves thought to be used to avoid any potential predators like orcas from listening in, locating and then killing the calves

Two dolphins to be freed from captivity in South Korea

Two Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins held at the Seoul Grand Park aquarium in South Korea are to be released back into the wild in July. 

Geumdeung and Daepo, both male dolphins, were captured in a fishing net in 1997 and 1998 respectively and have spent nearly twenty years in captivity since.

It is believed the decision to release them came from the local mayor, Park Wan-soon. The dolphins will spend the next few months being prepared for their release.

Small caterpillar may be plastic pollution solution

Researchers at Cambridge University may have discovered a solution to the huge plastic pollution problem that the world faces, and it comes in the form of a small caterpillar.

Experiments involving small moth larvae (Galleria mellonella), which eat wax in bee hives, have revealed that they can also eat their way through plastic bags! The larvae then break down the chemical bonds of plastic in the similar way to digesting beeswax.

Did toxic algae kill whales in Alaska

Officials from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that algal toxins associated with warming surface waters could have been the reason behind the mass deaths of 44 whales in 2015 in the Gulf of Alaska.

A similar event happened in waters near the Canadian province of British Columbia around the same time and those whales that died were later found to have consumed algal toxins. Testing on the whales that died in Alaska waters we not possible because many of the whales had decomposed or could not be retrieved.

Blue whale filmed feeding on krill off New Zealand

Rare footage of a blue whale hoovering up a ball of krill has been taken in the Southern Ocean off the coast of New Zealand. Researchers from the Hatfield Marine Science Center at Oregon State University recorded the whale twisting its body to lunge feed on the tiny prey.

IMMA workshop for the South Pacific held in Samoa

From the 27-31 March 2017, in Apia, Samoa, the IUCN Marine Mammal Protected Areas Task Force invited 23 marine mammal researchers and other experts from 14 Pacific countries for the second Important Marine Mammal Area (IMMA) workshop. This follows the successful first IMMA workshop in the Mediterranean in Oct. 2016 sponsored by the MAVA Foundation.

Blogs

A UK manifesto for whales and dolphins

Ahead of the UK's general election on 8th June, WDC recommends three achievable and critical steps to directly improve the welfare and protection of whales, dolphins and porpoises in the next Parliament. 

Pilot whales under the midnight sun

I’m delighted to introduce the second blog from supporter Oliver Dirr, who has been travelling round the world, watching whales and sharing his best experiences with us! Read on for his account of a magical night under the midnight sun in Norway.