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Endangered river dolphins die in Amazon drought

Over 100 endangered pink river dolphins have died in an area of the Amazon over...
Fin whale

Short and cruel hunt season ends in Iceland

The shortened Icelandic fin whale hunts season has finished with a final total of 23...
This dead right whale calf had injuries consistent with a vessel strike, including fresh propeller cuts on its back and head, broken ribs, and bruising. Photo: FWC/Tucker Joenz, NOAA Fisheries permit #18786

Emergency Right Whale Petition Seeks Overdue Protections From Vessel Strikes

This dead right whale calf had injuries consistent with a vessel strike, including fresh propeller...

Landmark report reveals UK wildlife’s devastating decline

With whales and dolphins already facing many threats, a landmark report released this week reveals...
All policy news
  • All policy news
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
  • Strandings

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...

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
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...

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,...

New population estimate deal another blow to critically endangered North Atlantic right whales

credit: Peter Flood

A new population estimate released by the New England Aquarium indicates the population of North Atlantic right whale declined by another 8% between 2019 and 2020 with only 336 individuals estimated to remain.  The species is sometimes referred to as the “urban whale” given its remaining habitat lies along the busy eastern seaboards of the US east coast and Atlantic Canada.  After what appeared to be a slow but promising rebound in the early 2000’s, the population began rapidly declining around 2010 due to human impacts.

As a changing climate shifted the tiny zooplankton prey of right whales, the whales moved into new feeding areas void of protections from vessel strikes and accidental entanglements, their two biggest threats.  At the same time, females who used more energy to travel to find food, or suffered from the additional stress of being entangled, had fewer calves.  As a result, the number of whales dying surpassed the number being born to the population.

These latest figures do not account for the 18 calves born during the 2021 calving season.  Sadly, one calf died of complications during its birth and another was struck and killed by a passing vessel.  The calf’s mom was also injured during the collision and is not expected to survive. In addition, 2 other right whales were killed or seriously injured by entanglements in 2021.

not to be used for fundraising

“We have an obligation to help recover this species, not just for their own survival, but for ours too.” - Regina Asmutis-Silvia

“This latest population figure is not what we were hoping for but we still have hope.  We just had a year where more right whale calves were born than the three previous years combined showing that the species isn’t giving up and that we can’t give up on them” said Regina Asmutis-Silvia, WDC-NA Executive Director.  Large Whales, including the North Atlantic right whale play an integral role in the health of the marine ecosystem by helping to produce half the earth’s oxygen, sustaining fish stocks, and fighting climate change. Asmutis-Silvia went on to say “we have an obligation to help recover this species, not just for their own survival, but for ours too”.

What is WDC doing to help right whales?

Petitioned NOAA to expand the vessel speed restriction in right whale habitats

Testing alternative fishing gear which will nearly eliminate entanglement risk

Training vessel operators to identify and report entangled whales and live right whale sightings

Inputting into monitoring and mitigation measures for offshore energy development

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