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Research reveals pilot whales babysit young of other whales

A new report in Marine Mammal Science on the findings of a study of pilot whales off Nova Scotia, Canada, has shown that adult whales in the population look after the young of unrelated other whales. While this type of babysitting, know as "alloparental care", has been observed in other social mammals, it is the first time it has been studied in pilot whales.

Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet sets sail

Unfazed by the results of this year´s meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which decided on a new process for so called “research” whaling, two Japanese whaling ships have left the port of Shimonoseki, Japan. 

The fleet of four whaling vessels and a crew of 185 in total, intends killing 333 minke whales under the guise of research (the second phase of the Japanese research plan “NEWREP-A” launched in December 2015).

First beluga born in captivity in Canada dies

Qila, the first beluga whale to be born in captivity in Canada has died at the age of 21.

Qila was from the Western Hudson Bay population of wild beluga whales but was born into captivity and held at the Vancouver Aquarium for all of her short life. The cause of death is not know at this point but further investigations are expected to take place.

Belugas can live up to the age of 60 in the wild, travelling large distances each day, hunting and playing. In captivity they have very little space and cannot behave naturally. A concrete tank can never replace their ocean home.

WDC takes stop whaling petition to European Parliament

On Friday, 14 October 2016, WDC's Stop Whaling Programme Lead Astrid Fuchs and Joanne Warner, from petition site Care2, delivered almost 270,000 signatures from our campaign to make whaling a deal-breaker in the EU’s trade negotiations with Japan to Bernd Lange, head of the European Parliament's Committee for International Trade (INTA).

Beluga sanctuary update

As you may know, WDC is working with Merlin Entertainments to create the world’s first wild beluga whale sea sanctuary and secure a better future for the three beluga whales living at Changfeng Ocean World in Shanghai.

Well, we have some further progress to report regarding the project, and our ultimate goal to relocate these belugas from the aquarium in Shanghai to a more natural life in a sanctuary.

WDC sends message of support to NZ whale watch community following earthquake

WDC sends a message of support to Kaikoura’s whale watch community, wider community and tourists, following a 7.5 magnitude earthquake which struck the region early Monday morning, local time. The large earthquake has been followed by over 150 aftershocks in the last 24 hours, including one particularly hefty aftershock with a magnitude of 6.2. The coastal town of Kaikoura, on New Zealand’s South Island, has been the most badly damaged and has been almost completely isolated. A state of emergency has been declared, as huge landslides have closed roads and brought down phone lines.

SeaWorld profits slump again

Barely two months after announcing it was suspending its dividend payout, SeaWorld has revealed a huge drop in profits in its third quarter results with income falling to 66m dollars. Chief executive, Joe Manby, also announced a further $65m cost cutting excercise as the company attempts to turn around its financial fortunes.

Whales use underwater mountains as meeting points

Research into the migration patterns of whales suggests that they may use underwater mountains as a means of navigating as they travel thousands of miles across the oceans.

Data gathered by French researchers, who tracked humpback whales as they moved through the Pacific Ocean, suggests that the whales also use these mountains as meeting points where they gather to feed and socialise.

Dolphins released after illegal capture in Solomon Islands

Around 30 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins that had been illegally captured in the Solomon Islands have been released back to the wild after an investigation by government fisheries officials.

For many years, the Solomons were a source of dolphins for the captivity industry and it is possible these dolphins might have been facing a similar fate. The dolphins were captured in the Western Provinces and then moved to seapens on Bungana Island.

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