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Southern Resident Orcas

Northwest elected leaders to assess breaching the Snake River dams

Southern Resident orcas need Snake River salmon, and a new announcement from key elected officials...
credit: Hysazu Photography

Joint response concerning “no apparent shortage of prey for Southern Resident killer whales” in the Salish Sea

October 14, 2021 On October 12, the University of British Columbia (UBC) issued a press...
Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr

Alarming report raises worries for marine mammals held at the Miami Seaquarium

Leonardo Da Silva/Flickr A disturbing report on the conditions at the Miami Seaquarium from the...
Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals

Shocking footage of captive orca butting head against wall

Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals Distressing scenes have recently emerged from Marineland in Ontario where Kiska, the...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling

Whale culture should play a part in their conservation says new international study

An international group of researchers working on a wide range of species, including whales, argues...

No change in Norway whaling quota as number of whales to be killed remains high

Norway’s Minister of Fisheries has announced that the country has set itself the same number...

Preparations for beluga whale move to Iceland continue

Ahead of the relocation of Little White and Little Grey to the world’s first open...
Photo taken by Sea to Shore Alliance under NOAA Permit #15488

Senate Leaders Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Save the North Atlantic Right Whale

After a deadly summer for North Atlantic right whales, Senators Booker (D-NJ), Isakson (R-GA) and...

Norway’s whaling future uncertain after survey shows little domestic appetite for whale meat

The future of Norway’s whaling industry appears to be in serious doubt as it struggles...
nmfs_beluga_drone_laura_morse_afsc

Moving in the wrong direction: new application would bring belugas to US marine parks

Earlier this year, WDC celebrated the passage of a landmark law to ban whale and...

Financial worth of whales revealed

http://us.whales.org/2019/09/27/financial-worth-of-whales-revealed/
Two beautiful Hector's dolphins leap just off new Zealand's coast. © Mike Bossley

Significant Victory for WDC in Fight to Save World’s Smallest Dolphins

A significant victory in the fight to save dolphins in New Zealand from extinction! This...
Orcas are crammed together in sickening conditions

Russian Citizens Call For Action to Prevent Another Whale Jail

Reports from inside Russia have revealed more than 100,000 petition signers have raised their objections...
Fin whale

Positive whaling news emerges from Iceland

News is emerging from Iceland that the company behind Iceland’s fin whale hunts, Hvalur hf,...

WDC funded research shows ‘pingers’ could save porpoises from fishing nets

Underwater sound devices called ‘pingers’ could be an effective, long-term way to prevent porpoises getting...
Beluga whales - Little Grey and Little White

Beluga Sanctuary Update – July 1st

Update: 1st July 2020 We have been working to relocate belugas, Little Grey and Little...

Belugas take ‘little steps’ into the ocean sanctuary

We are pleased to confirm that beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White, have taken their first swim in their open water sanctuary home in Iceland - a project that WDC is working on in partnership with the SEA LIFE Trust .

Carefully monitored by the whales’ expert care team, Little Grey and Little White were released for the first time to fully explore the natural surroundings of the wider sanctuary at Klettsvik Bay on Heimaey, one of the Westman Islands off the south coast of Iceland.

The whales have been making good progress since moving to their bayside care pools in August. Little Grey and Little White’s first swim out in the wider bay is part of a carefully managed welfare program to help introduce the whales gradually into their much larger sanctuary home.

Led by their expert care team, the ‘Little Steps’ program will see the whales continue to be introduced to the bay (which is approximately 32,000 sqm with a depth of up to 10m – which is equivalent of the size of 17 tennis courts) and return to the sea sanctuary care pools over a short period of time while their health and well-being is assessed and monitored on a daily basis.

Beluga whale

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Andy Bool, Head of SEA LIFE Trust, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by the progress that Little Grey and Little White have made since moving to their bayside care pools. They are feeding and acclimating well to the more natural surroundings as well as all of the outdoor elements. We are introducing them gradually to the bay in little steps, but seeing them swim together and deep dive among the flora and fauna of the wider bay for the first time was amazing to witness and gave us a real sense that Little Grey and Little White are enjoying being back in the sea.”

The Beluga Whale Sanctuary, operated by charity the SEA LIFE Trust, is the first of its kind and was built with the support of a generous donation from Merlin Entertainments.

Created in partnership with WDC, the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary is one of the biggest developments in captive whale and dolphin care and protection in decades and the first of its kind to be created for cetaceans.

Cathy Williamson, WDC’s End Captivity program lead said, 'We’re delighted that Little Grey and Little White are now exploring the wider bay and adapting well to their new, natural, stimulating environment. WDC has been on this journey with Merlin Entertainments and the SEA LIFE Trust from the beginning and we are truly honored to be a partner to the world’s first whale sanctuary. As well as providing an exciting home for Little Grey and Little White, we look forward to welcoming other belugas here and encouraging the development of sanctuaries in other parts of the world.'

Williamson continues: 'We hope this will mean that many of the more than 3,500 whales and dolphins held in captivity for shows and swim with attractions can be brought to sanctuaries to live more natural lives or be rehabilitated for a return to the wild. As the documentary will reveal, many people have worked very hard to make the sanctuary a reality and take the first bold steps to helping bring about an end to the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity for human entertainment.'

Little Grey and Little White’s amazing journey back to the ocean will be told as part of a new two-part feature length documentary to be shown on ITV this October over consecutive nights, showing the complexities and dedication around the world-first project with comedian and animal lover John Bishop an integral part of the two-year mission.

We are excited for Little Grey and Little White to be in their new sanctuary home! Sea sanctuaries are an important step in ending captivity.

If you believe in ending captivity, please help us continue this important work.

Another way to help is by sharing this on social media!

1 Comment

  1. Shirley Nicholas on 10/08/2020 at 1:58 pm

    Absolutely wonderful. Sincerely hope Governments learn from this and allow other captive whales and dolphins to be set free. Thank you WDC and Sea Life Trust.

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