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Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Mass stranding of pilot whales in Tasmania

Over 450 pilot whales have stranded in various locations along a stretch of coastline in...
Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

Tahlequah, the Southern Resident orca, gives birth to healthy calf

J35 and J57. Photo by Katie Jones, Center for Whale Research / Permit #21238 Tahlequah...
Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Why do female orcas live so long after they stop having babies?

Orcas are one of only five species known to experience menopause and females can live...
Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Humpback whales swim up river in Kakadu National Park

Wildlife experts in Australia's Northern Territory are monitoring a humpback whale that has travelled 18...
WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

WDC scientists join call for global action to protect whales and dolphins from extinction

Scientists from Whale and Dolphin Conservation, along with over 250 other experts from 40 countries,...
Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus – the tale of an extraordinary dog and his love of dolphins

Rastus Dr Nicolette Scourse is an academic, educator, author and illustrator with a passion for...
BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE:  Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

BELUGA WHALE SANCTUARY UPDATE: Little Grey and Little White arrive safely after move to bay care area

We can now confirm that two beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, are now...
Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

Vessel Speed Limits Sought to Protect Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales

"What we are asking for are essentially school zones along our coast, areas where vessels...

Stand up and help remove plastic from our oceans


WDC are proud to announce our new partnership with The Whale Company, a long term supporter of WDC based in Bedfordshire, but currently in Brazil! We were delighted to hear from Carolyn, founder of The Whale Company and their new challenge to tackle plastic pollution. 

As we walked onto Prainha Beach, in Caraguatatuba, Brazil with our new paddle board under our arms, heads turned to stare in wonder and fascination. I am not sure what reaction we were expecting, but from the whispers and curious glances there was no doubt that we were creating a buzz. Our paddle board was no ordinary board; Carlos and I had spent the previous week building it out of 124 plastic bottles. It was quite a challenge and I was a little nervous about taking it out on the water. Carlos, however, had no such trepidation; he lowered the plastic bottle board into the gentle waves and jumped on enthusiastically. I had to run behind him with the camera to make sure we captured the special moment, as he paddled quickly into the distance.

Even without a fin, the board was stable and incredibly easy to manoeuver. Local stand-up paddleboard (SUP) instructors came over to have a go and before long a little crowd had gathered around us. Bewilderment turned to appreciation as we discussed why we had built a board out of plastic bottles – to raise awareness of the problems of plastic pollution in the ocean and the fact that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish (World Economic Forum, 2016). Although plastic can be recycled, only 24% of the 5 million tonnes of plastic used in the UK every year is recycled or re-used (#Oneless); and 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year (National Geographic, 2015).

I created The Whale Company after discovering that plastic pollution in the ocean was killing whales and other marine wildlife. Our organic cotton Whalebags are beautiful and practical alternatives to plastic bags (and they make great beach/travel bags too). We also make flip-flops out of recycled tyres – Whaletreads. I am delighted with our new partnership with WDC – we are donating 10p from every bag to WDC. Follow the link to the bags here and get 10% off with code ‘WDC2017’.

The success of our first plastic bottle board outing has become the inspiration for our next big challenge. Launching on 8 June, World Ocean’s Day, Carlos and I will paddle 12 marathons across Europe on paddle boards made out of plastic bottles and in every location we will teach the local community how to build a plastic bottle board, taking 120 bottles out of the environment every time.

Help the Whale Company raise awareness of plastic pollution in the ocean and show people that SUP can be affordable for all. If you are interested in finding out more about Carolyn and Carlos’ expedition and how you can get involved, please go to www.thewhalecompany.co.uk/plastic-bottle-sup-marathon

WDC is grateful to our guest bloggers and value their contributions to whale conservation. The views and opinions expressed by our guest bloggers are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent those of, and should not be attributed to, WDC.