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Our climate report highlights dramatic impacts on whales and dolphins

A new WDC report highlights the dramatic effect on whales and dolphins from climate change,...
© New England Aquarium and Canadian Whale Institute under DFO Canada SARA permit

Scientists unveil new names for 19 North Atlantic right whales

December 6, 2023 - Contact: Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, (508) 451-3853, [email protected] Pam...
© Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, taken under NOAA permit #26919. Funded by United States Army Corps of Engineers

Birth announcement! First right whale calf of the 2024 calving season spotted

November 29, 2023 - On November 28th, researchers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute...
© Peter Flood

Two New England-based nonprofits awarded nearly $400k federal grant

© Peter Flood November 20, 2023 - Contact: Jake O'Neill, Conservation Law Foundation, (617) 850-1709,...
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,...

Eleventh hour push in Montreal secures hope for the protection and restoration of Ocean biodiversity

WDC at COP15

After four years of discussion, the second and final part of COP15 took place in Montreal, Canada from 7th to 19th December. Over 20,000 people came from all corners of the world to secure a deal that will set us on a path to living in harmony with nature.  

WDC representatives, Vanesa Tossenberger and Ed Goodall were in attendance to push for the strongest possible protections and measures that will benefit whales and dolphins. By working with governments directly, we can proudly say that WDC played it’s part in helping to shape positions of several countries and increasing ambition for the Ocean. We held a joint event on Ocean Action Day with Marine Conservation Society and Blue Marine Foundation, calling for no backsliding of ambition on Ocean targets. All three attending UK environment ministers were present (Rt Hon Secretary of State Therese Coffey, Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith and Rt Hon Lord Benyon), along with Sebastian Unger, who is responsible for Ocean protection for the German Environment Ministry and government representatives from Panama and Tanzania. 

WDC's Ed Goodall with Lord Goldsmith
WDC's Ed Goodall with Lord Goldsmith
WDC's Ed Goodall and IWC Executive Secretary Dr Rebecca Lent
WDC's Ed Goodall and IWC Executive Secretary Dr Rebecca Lent
WDC's Ed Goodall and James Smith, Deputy Director of Marine Policy at DEFRA and UK IWC Commissioner
WDC's Ed Goodall and James Smith, Deputy Director of Marine Policy at DEFRA and UK IWC Commissioner

After delays of nine hours and last-minute talks between countries, a plenary room of exhausted delegates cheered the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework by the Chinese presidency. It’s not a perfect deal but working with 196 countries requires compromise and this is nonetheless, a momentous achievement for global biodiversity conservation. 

Perhaps the most important aim within the deal is to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030. With only 8 years to go, this will require a monumental global effort. To get us to this goal, there are a number of targets which, if implemented in good faith, will help to restore whale and dolphin populations after centuries of decline. A last-minute push saw the wording on the 30x30 initiative edited to ensure that this target is 30% of the land and 30% of the Ocean, whereas the previous wording seemed to combine the two. We know that protected areas, if delivered properly, can genuinely restore the ocean and be safe havens for whales and dolphins. 

Plenary room ahead of finale
Plenary room ahead of finale

There is also a commitment to ensure urgent action is taken to halt human induced extinction of known threatened species. Taking the IUCN definitions, this could be a major tool to push for hugely expanded measures and funding to reverse the declines of 24 whale and dolphin species. Critically endangered species include the Vaquita, the North Atlantic right whale, Rice’s whale and Atlantic humpback dolphin. Endangered species covered would include blue and sei whales, and Hector’s and Irrawaddy dolphins.

We also have 2030 targets around reducing pollution from all sources, transitioning to biodiversity-friendly fishing practices and the elimination of subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity by 2030. All of these targets could see the Ocean become a less hostile place for whales and dolphins, contributing to the restoration of their populations. 

We have seen international targets set before and not achieved, but we simply cannot allow the ambition set in Montreal to not turn into immediate action. What this agreement does, is set highly ambitious targets for countries who have not been engaged in conservation at the level required, meaning a significant mobilisation of action is needed. Those countries who wish to achieve more have no limits placed upon them and as we have been pushing for during this whole process, we encourage the most ambitious targets and most precautionary approach to conservation.  

WDC will continue working with countries and partners to make sure that these lofty words and targets are transformed into effective and meaningful local, regional and global implementation of conservation measures that benefit whale and dolphins, and by extension wider biodiversity.

Help us continue to speak up and be the voice for whales and dolphins!


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