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It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Save the whale. Save the world.

Climate giants – how whales can help save the world

We know that whales, dolphins, and porpoises are amazing beings with complex social and family...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...
Alexi Archer cropped

Meet the 2022 Interns: Alexi Archer

I am thrilled to welcome Alexi to WDC as the newest member of our Marine...
Saya

Meet the 2022 Interns: Saya Butani

I'm happy to welcome the newest member of the WDC team, Saya Butani, who is...
Block Island wind credit: Regina Asutis-Silvia

Offshore Wind: Don’t Blow It

Recently, new areas were added to the growing list of potential sites for offshore wind...
Sierra

Meet the 2022 Interns: Sierra Osborne

I'm delighted to introduce WDC's Conservation Education intern for Summer 2022, Sierra Osborne! Without hesitation,...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...

Iceland 2013: Saga #6 – Húsavík

This update is written by Dr. Mike Tetley, who works with WDC as a consultant on Marine Protected Areas. Skjálfandi Bay It is with great pleasure and wonder when I think back on the times I was able to visit Northern Iceland, specifically when working at the Húsavík Whale Museum as part of my Ph.D. studies and the ecology of North Atlantic minke whales.  Skjálfandi Bay, named by many to be one of the whale watching capitals of the world, is a haven for marine wildlife, in particular whales and dolphins. Many humpback whales, minke whales and most recently mighty blues make their long migration to this little corner of Iceland during the summer months from southern climes, to feed on the rich stocks of sandeels and krill.

Skjálfandi Bay The museum aims to educate, in partnership with the towns’ whale watching companies, all visitors be they Icelandic or tourist about the amazing lives of whales and dolphins. This is done by a team of staff and international volunteers, who work hard to develop information displays, guide and answer visitor questions, and maintain the impressive and comprehensive collection of whale skeletons. During my time volunteering with this dedicated bunch it was my role to help develop the centres photo-identification catalogue of the bays minke, humpback and white-beaked dolphins. I also ventured out with the wonderful and welcoming crew of the whale watching company North Sailing to collect important data on the distribution and habitat use of these animals using the areas rich prey resources.

Whale watching in Húsavík Since my time at the museum back in 2008 it has gone on to strengthen its and Húsavíks’ reputation as a centre for observing and learning more about the daily lives of these fascinating marine mammals. Furthermore, through collaboration with other whale watching companies and researchers in the country and abroad, they are beginning to piece together the full picture of how and why these mighty giants come hundreds of miles to Iceland, to its’ stunning coastlines and snowy fjords. So with fond memories of my time in this Land of the Ice and Snow, from the Midnight Sun and where the Hot Springs Blow, I hope that the great work of those researchers, volunteers and dedicated whale watches continue so that this critical habitat for whales and dolphins is understood further for future conservation.

Humpback whale in Iceland Please continue to follow the blogs over the coming weeks as the WDC team attempt to give you an insight in to the lives of the whales, the people and landscapes of this stunning island.