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My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

My Gratitude List: Whales, Dolphins, and YOU

That is until one day when I saw a different kind of article that piqued...
A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

A Sliver of Hope from a Sad Start to Right Whale Calving Season

From there, our office anxiously waits every day as reports come from the latest aerial...
Big win for orcas –  the Klamath River dams are coming down

Big win for orcas – the Klamath River dams are coming down

This is a vital step to restoring abundant salmon in the river and boosting the...
Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Ending whale and dolphin captivity in the US – how our fight continues

Canada banned whale and dolphin captivity last year, leaving two facilities holding captive individuals: Vancouver...
From Whaling to Whale Watching

From Whaling to Whale Watching

One topic I find myself always coming back to is how our view of whales...
Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President

Dear Mr. President, I am writing to you on behalf of the marine mammals who...
Did I see my last right whale? Not yet.

Did I see my last right whale? Not yet.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, I haven’t seen a right whale this...
How many right whales are left?

How many right whales are left?

This week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the population estimate (aka...

WDC helping to shape the future for UK dolphins and porpoises

Last week, WDC took part in a two day workshop to help shape a “UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy”. We hope the strategy, once finalised will help to protect these species from bycatch, disturbance, pollution, noise and other pressures, individually as well as collectively. We warmly welcome this initiative, which has developed from an idea that was first introduced in the harbour porpoise Special Areas of Conservation public consultation in preparation for site-based marine protected areas back in 2016 and was also a commitment that the Scottish government agreed to back in 2017, in its programme for government.

This new UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy is being developed by Marine Scotland in collaboration with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Welsh Government and UK Nature Conservation Bodies including the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Natural England (NE), Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The Strategy will provide regulators, public authorities and all other stakeholders with a summary of the pressures that may affect dolphin and porpoise species in UK waters, with the aim of ensuring effective management to achieve and/or maintain favourable conservation status for these species. It will develop a series of actions to support a joined up approach to management with both site-specific Marine Protected Area (MPA) and wider seas measures working together to conserve dolphin and porpoise populations.

One of the ways this can be done is to tackle the huge numbers of dolphins and porpoises that die in UK and non-UK fishing net and gear (bycatch). 76,000 of you signed our petition to call for better bycatch measures, which we presented to George Eustice, the UK Fisheries Minister. We have heard from Mr Eustice about his commitment to reduce bycatch on a number of occasions now and bycatch measures will be included in the new Strategy.

WDC was instrumental in getting the UK government to commit to tackling bycatch. Now we are at the table and helping to shape it and future actions for the other pressures that dolphins and porpoises face in UK waters. The strong public feeling, and the pressure that we have collectively brought to bear through our public campaign, and our day-to-day political work, has helped to get us to this point. We are working closely with the UK and devolved governments (Scotland, N.Ireland and Wales), as well as other NGOs and stakeholders, to continually reduce dolphin and porpoise deaths in fishing gear in UK waters in the years to come.

Your support and actions are having an impact. There will be a public consultation on the UK Dolphin and Porpoise Conservation Strategy and we will let you know how you can take part and continue to help to ensure that dolphins and porpoises get all the protection that they deserve, and that are required under existing laws.

PLEASE DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT THIS WORK AND HELP US STOP DOLPHIN AND PORPOISE DEATHS IN NETS