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Happy Trash-tober!

To celebrate spooky season, our WDC North America team decided to do our part to...
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Join WDC for STEM Week 2021!

Hey! Join me and Whale & Dolphin Conservation for STEM Week 2021! If you're interested...
Dead dolphins on the beach

Faroe Islands whale and dolphin slaughter – what have we done and what are we doing?

The massacre of 1,428 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður on the Faroe Islands on 12th...
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Orcas, sea lions, and viral videos

"What do I do?!" You may have seen the latest viral animal video involving a...
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The horror – reflecting on the massacre of 1,428 dolphins on the Faroe Islands

Like you and millions of people around the globe, I felt horrified by the news...
2021 Interns- first day

Meet the 2021 WDC Interns!

Every spring and summer, we get to open up our office to interns from all...
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Orca Month 2021 – We are Family

We have come to the end of another amazing Orca Action Month, and for the...
Text says "Does social and racial justice have a place in saving whales? Then below that is a simple drawing of a humpback whale and to the right of the whale, white text says "Yes, it does." In small text, whales.org is at the bottom.

Does social and racial justice have a place in saving whales?

The short answer is YES. The planet needs whales and whales need us, ALL of...

First few weeks as an intern

Written By: Stephanie Wrobel

It’s been a bit over two weeks now that I’ve been interning with WDC and so much has happened that it feels like it should be a lot longer. Before I came here I’d never seen humpback whales before, but due to studying in Australia I guess I always had a picture of the Pacific humpback whales in my head. I quickly learned how many differences there are between the populations in the Atlantic and Pacific such as the different flipper coloration or the fact that only the population here shows the kick-feeding behavior.

After just a couple of days learning all the basics in the office I was lucky enough to go out on the Hyannis Whale Watcher, a Whale SENSE participating company, and see humpback whales for the first time. It definitely exceeded the expectation I had for the first trip. Not only did I get to see several different individuals on that first day but on one sighting we saw a humpback whale named Glostick and her calf. While that alone would have already been amazing, the calf was very playful and started breaching and coming close to the boat. Needless to say, that I was as excited as all the visitors on the boat. Later that day I also got to see Dyad open-mouth feeding and kick-feeding. While we “only” saw about six different humpbacks, some finbacks and a couple minke whales that day, it was enough to sometimes let me forget that I was there to collect data not to simply admire those beautiful animals. 

humpback whale calf breaching

Since that first day I’ve been out on the boat a few more times and I can’t believe how different every day can be. Last Friday was a very exciting day as we saw Mudskipper with her new calf for the first time. For a while we weren’t sure who it was as Mudskipper apparently does not like to show the underside of her fluke (where the unique pigment pattern is), and it seems she’s teaching her calf the same habit. So while we mainly saw the same 3-4 humpback whales over the last weekend (Freckles, Mogul, Mudskipper and her calf) it was unbelievable how active the finback whales have been. There were a lot of bait patches around and on several occasions we found ourselves surrounded by lunge-feeding finback whales. It is such an amazing sight to see those whales feeding and really makes you appreciate them even more.

There have been plenty of days that I didn’t spend on the boat though and I learned several different things about what else is done, besides the data collection. In my second week I had the pleasure of meeting Delilah, the life size inflatable North Atlantic right whale, when Monica gave a talk for younger kids at the library here in Plymouth. It was great to see how many kids are still so excited and interested about whales. Interacting with the people there and at the boat is always really interesting and a lot of fun, as it’s not only great to share what I know with them but also often prompts me to look up questions that I wasn’t able to answer as fully as I would have liked to, making me learn something new every few days.