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Captive Orca Nakai Dies at SeaWorld San Diego

credit: SeaWorld San Diego An orca has died while in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego....
A fluke of a North Atlantic right whale lifts out of the water

Federal Proposal Aims to Protect Endangered Right Whales From Ship Strikes

For Immediate Release, July 29, 2022 WASHINGTON- The National Marine Fisheries Service proposed a rule...
Common bottlenose dolphin

100 bottlenose dolphins hunted in Faroe Islands

This morning, (July 29th), 100 bottlenose dolphins were killed in Skálafjörður on the Faroe Islands. The...
North Atlantic right whale. Photo by Regina Asmutis-Sylvia

Update on Snow Cone – Critically Endangered Right Whale Who Gave Birth Despite Chronic Entanglement

July 2022 - Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reported that Snow Cone was spotted on...

Dolphins to be used to locate highly endangered vaquita

According to reports from Mexico, the government there is to go ahead with plans to use dolphins trained by the US Navy to try to save the world’s most endangered marine species, the vaquita.

Vaquita are the world’s smallest and one of the most endangered species of whale, dolphin or porpoise on the planet. Found only in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California, the population has declined by more than 75% in the past three years and currently fewer than 50 vaquita remain.

The single biggest threat to this species is accidental catch in illegal fisheries targeting yet another endangered species, a fish known as Totoaba.  Smuggled into China, dried Totoaba swim bladders, worth more than $10,000 each, are used to make maw, a soup thought to boost fertility. 

Mexico’s Environment Minister, Rafael Pacchiano said that the dolphins would be deployed to locate and herd vaquitas into a marine refuge.

WDC has often spoken out against the use of dolphins in military exercises and opposes the captivity of whales and dolphins for human entertainment but the story of the vaquita is not about captivity. Vaquita are on the brink of extinction because of the inadequate management efforts in place over past decades to prevent illegal fishing and illegal trade.

The near extinction of Vaquita was preventable. The plan to save Vaquita is uncertain and controversial, but the need to prevent the unnecessary bycatch and illegal trade of endangered species is not. We continue to support the efforts to ban all gillnetting within the Vaquita habitat and continue to work to reduce the threat of bycatch to all whales, dolphins, and porpoises. 

Join our campaign to stop dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear in UK waters.