Unfortunately, 2017 is not turning out to be a great year for whales, dolphins and porpoises with the numbers of some species dropping to worrying levels.
On Tuesday there was an important vote in the European Parliament Fisheries Committee about fisheries conservation measures including future bycatch measures for dolphins, porpoises and whales. Here is a summary of what happened in the vote on bycatch.
Today (on Tuesday afternoon), MEPs from across Europe will vote on a range of fisheries measures aimed to conserve fish stocks, habitats and protected species. The vote will include measures to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales, as well as seabirds, seals and turtles, from incidental entanglement in fishing gear.
On the eve of a European Parliamentary vote (worryingly led by Spain), on the incidental capture and deaths of whales, dolphins and porpoises in fishing nets, a study released today by WDC has found that the Spanish fleet and government has flouted European law to report, monitor and prevent these deaths.
Some species of whales and dolphins can migrate many thousands of miles, travelling through the national waters of a number of different countries to get to their destinations.
A humpback whale in Australia died on a beach in Port Macquarie in New South Wales on Sunday just hours after rescuers had removed fishing gear from its body. The whale was in poor condition and the gear was identified as having come from Tasmania, more than 1700km away.
Attempts to tow the whale's body out to sea were unsuccessful so it was buried on the beach which has now been closed after a number of sharks were sighted in the area.
The latest report on the numbers of dolphins and porpoises killed in fishing nets and gear in waters around the UK reveals the estimated total caught accidentally by the UK fishing industry is still alarming high, and highlights that too little is being done to stop these unnecessary deaths.
This week WDC was proud to co-host an event in the European Parliament in Brussels.