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WDC provides supportive care to a live-stranded common dolphin. Credit: Andrea Spence/IFAW

Whale and Dolphin Conservation Expands Marine Mammal Stranding Network Territory

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation team expands the Greater Atlantic Regional Marine Mammal Stranding Network...
Hysazu Photography | Sara Shimazu

Dam Good News for Southern Resident orcas

Pardon the pun (we've used it before) but we just can't help ourselves.  After decades...
Peter Flood mom and calf

Emergency Petition Seeks to Shield Right Whale Moms, Calves From Vessel Strikes

For Immediate Release, November 1, 2022 WASHINGTON-Conservation groups filed an emergency rulemaking petition with the...
The Yushin Maru catcher ship of the Japanese whaling fleet injures a whale with its first harpoon attempt, and takes a further three harpoon shots before finally killing the badly injured fleeing whale. Finally they drowned the mammal beneath the harpooon deck of the ship to kill it.  Southern Ocean.  07.01.2006

Moves to overturn whaling ban rejected

Last week, the 68th meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC, the body that regulates...

Small caterpillar may be plastic pollution solution

Researchers at Cambridge University may have discovered a solution to the huge plastic pollution problem that the world faces, and it comes in the form of a small caterpillar.

Experiments involving small moth larvae (Galleria mellonella), which eat wax in bee hives, have revealed that they can also eat their way through plastic bags! The larvae then break down the chemical bonds of plastic in the similar way to digesting beeswax.

Millions of tonnes of this type of plastic polyethylene are produced around the world each year, but the bags and packaging can take hundreds of years to break down. The caterpillars start to eat away at the plastic in a matter of minutes.  Scientists at the university say that they will need to understand better the process taking place and hope that this will develop into a process that reduces the issues around plastic waste.

Whales and dolphins swallow plastic debris (like water bottles) floating in the ocean. It can cause painful internal injuries that can prove fatal. Ingested plastic can also poison whales’ and dolphins’ bodies with toxic chemicals. Plastics never biodegrade, they just become smaller pieces of plastic. These microplastics are ingested by fish and plankton and end up in the bellies of the whales and dolphins who feed on them. It can even end up inside us!

WDC is working with a number of companies to help raise awareness around the issue of plastic pollution and on solutions to it .

Read more about what you can do about plastic pollution.