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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...

Future of European dolphins lies in EU Fisheries Committee hands TODAY!

Today (on Tuesday afternoon), MEPs from across Europe will vote on a range of fisheries measures aimed to conserve fish stocks, habitats and protected species. The vote will include measures to protect dolphins, porpoises and whales, as well as seabirds, seals and turtles, from incidental entanglement in fishing gear.

Many thousands of dolphins, porpoises and whales die due to bycatch in European waters every year. Here is our briefing on the necessary cetacean bycatch requirements to change this. Better – or worse – future bycatch measures are in the hands of those MEPs who sit on the EU Fisheries Committee.

The conservation groups that we work with in Europe have produced a full report on all the required fisheries measures.

The existing cetacean bycatch regulation is not as good as it could be, and compliance is not as good as it should be, as identified in this new WDC report. So the draft technical conservation measures are a welcome and desperately needed opportunity, except some MEPs are expected to take this opportunity to vote to remove and to weaken existing measures.

We have great concern that unless the bycatch language is significantly strengthened, the repeal of the existing Regulation and adoption of the new technical conservation measures may result in even higher numbers of dolphins, porpoises and whales dying in fishing gear in European waters. This will especially threaten the critically endangered harbour porpoise population in the Baltic Sea and vulnerable harbour porpoise, bottlenose and common dolphin populations in South Western waters.

SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE DICTATES WE NEED TO DO MORE

European and global dolphin bycatch and fisheries experts have written this EXPERT OPEN LETTER calling for better monitoring of fishing fleets and better measures to prevent deaths in all European seas. This call is echoed by the European Regional Agreements for the conservation of cetaceans, ASCOBANS and ACCOBAMS, in their correspondence to the Commission about improving bycatch measures, back in 2016.

With our colleagues at HSI and EIA, we also wrote this piece including on the dire situation for Baltic harbour porpoises that could be prove to be the final nail in the coffin if existing measures are removed. 

The next step after this vote is for the measures to be voted in Plenary session in European Parliament, or to be negotiated behind closed doors between PECH and the Council. We will report back once the vote has taken place. You can watch the vote live, from 2.30pm today, on Tuesday 21st November.