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A Southern Resident killer whale leaps into the air. The Southern Residents are an endangered population of fish-eating killer whales. Credit: NOAA

Southern Resident Orcas Receive Oregon Endangered Species Protections

February 16, 2024 - Contact: Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (508) 451-3853, [email protected] Brady...
Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken under NOAA permit #20556-01

Critically endangered whale dies due to inaction of Biden administration

Pilgrim and her calf in December 2022 © Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, taken...
© Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit 24359. Funded by NOAA Fisheries and Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Critically endangered North Atlantic right whale found dead off Georgia’s coast

February 13, 2024 - On February 13, a North Atlantic right whale was reported dead...
#5120 not entangled in July 2021 
© Gine Lonati, University of New Brunswick. Taken under DFO Canada Sara Permit

Entanglement rope of North Atlantic right whale identified

On February 14th, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced it had identified the fishing...

Four captive dolphins to move from Finland to dolphinarium in Greece

Four dolphins, Veera, Delfi, Leevi and Eevertti, are to be moved to a dolphinarium in Greece as their current captive home, Särkänniemi Theme Park is to close.

Särkänniemi announced its decision to shut its doors last October, citing a change in public attitudes towards captive dolphin shows as the reason for reduced public attendance and profits.

The facility has since received offers to purchase the dolphins, all of which were rejected; the facility stated that it did not want to sell the dolphins and wanted to find a solution that would provide the highest level of welfare for these dolphins.

Permits under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) needed to transfer the dolphins from Särkänniemi dolphinarium have been approved, and the dolphins now look set to be transferred to Attica Zoological Park in Greece – a zoo that reported five dolphin deaths between 2010 and 2015.

In June 2016, the Ministry of Environment in Greece approved the expansion of Attica Zoological Park (including the dolphinarium), despite the fact that the Greek minister had pledged to pass a law banning whale and dolphin captivity in the country. The Greek Law 4039/2012, passed in 2012, already forbids the use of animals in performance; however, this law has gone unenforced by the Ministry.

Discussions have been on-going since the closure of the dolphinarium was first announced to try to reach an agreement to place the dolphins in a seaside sanctuary as soon as such a sanctuary is established.

WDC is working with a number of stakeholders to establish sanctuaries for captive whales and dolphins. It is a long and complicated process to establish such sanctuaries. Unfortunately, without them, there is no perfect solution for individuals when facilities close and we would hope that as soon as a sanctuary is established, the four bottlenose dolphins held in Finland would be among the first candidates for one.

Join WDC’s latest campaign to end captivity.