Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Clear the list graphic

Clear WDC’s Amazon Wishlist for Giving Tuesday

The holiday season is knocking on our doors and Giving Tuesday is coming up soon!...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...
The Codfather being good with Anvil kick feeding right next to them_0761 branded

Spout Spotters: Boater Safety Around Whales Online Course Launches

After countless hours behind the computer, bountiful snacks, and a few stress relieving walks with...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
65556ab2635fdab7b4e12265b9623d64

Stream to Sea: Orca Action Month 2022

This June was an exceptionally busy and exciting Orca Month, starting with a somewhat surprising...
We need whale poo ? WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...

WDC presents petition to UK Fisheries Minister to stop dolphin deaths in nets

On 6 September, 2017 we handed-over our petition calling for strong laws to stop dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear in UK seas. Our Parliamentary event to present the petition and to get a commitment from the UK Fisheries Minister, George Eustice MP, was really well received. Entanglement in fishing gear, or ‘bycatch’ is the biggest global threat to dolphins, porpoises and whales and we were so proud to state that more than 75,000 of you were with us in wanting to reduce bycatch in UK waters. 

We were delighted that MPs and peers, collectively from the Conservative, Labour and Green Parties came to support us, and colleagues from within government, nature conservation agencies, fellow NGOs, fishing industry representatives, funders and WDC supporters were with us to back our cause.

George Eustice is well known to WDC as he used to represent the UK at meetings of the International Whaling Commission, the body that regulates whaling, and we have built a good working relationship with him, as well as with Richard Benyon MP, a previous Environment Minister, who kindly hosted our event. As the moon rose over the River Thames, in these beautiful and historic surroundings, this positive relationship was reflected in the speeches of both Ministers, as well as our own CEO’s.

Mr Eustice made a number of important statements, some of the highlights for me and others in the room: “I want us to be a global leader, inspiring others to protect cetaceans” (the collective term for whales, dolphins and porpoises), “I want to see significant reductions in the number of dolphins and porpoises caught and killed in our fisheries” and “Any action to reduce bycatch will only be successful with strong support from the fishing industry. They are the cornerstone around which we must build our efforts”.

In my speech, I reminded Mr Eustice and all our guests of the need to consider bycatch in future UK fisheries, conservation and animal welfare laws as we prepare to leave the European Union. With the Withdrawal Bill being debated in the House of Commons currently  and the Fisheries Bill expected to be hot on its heels in early 2018, our efforts could not be more timely. Bycatch needs to be explicitly dealt with.

We now need to keep up the pressure to remind George Eustice of his ambition and to ensure that dolphins, porpoises and whales stay high on the agenda in these very political, fast-moving and complex times – so that we can make the legal changes that are necessary to reduce the numbers of individuals dying and eventually end bycatch in UK seas.

To sum up the evening, I couldn’t put it any better than Mr Eustice himself: “This will be a challenge. But one I think we can rise to together. The benefits of driving down bycatch are there for all to see. It will help safeguard our environment for future generations. It can make our seafood the envy of the world, tapping into the premiums associated with sustainably and ethically sourced products. And of course we can take a step closer to meeting our ultimate goal of eliminating cetacean bycatch and ending the welfare implications associated with it.”

Never doubt the power we have when we stand together. Thank you for signing our petition, with that small action you’ve been a part of driving real change and saving lives.

Make a donation to help fund the next stage of this important campaign