How can we protect the places where whales and dolphins live?
Human activities are threatening whales and dolphins. With your help, we can create protected areas where whales and dolphins will survive and thrive; we can tackle issues such as vessel strikes, noise and chemical pollution, and marine debris.
Why does the ocean need protection?
The ocean is important for people and our planet. Over 90% of the world's trade occurs by ocean transport and more than 250 million people around the globe make their livelihoods from fishing. More importantly, the ocean gives us at least half of our oxygen, influences our weather, shapes the earth, and regulates our climate. Whales play an integral role in the health of our ocean and our planet. As the ocean's gardeners, whales bring nutrients to phytoplankton which give us oxygen, sustainable fish stocks, and sequester carbon. We all need a healthy ocean!
What is the problem?
In many places, the ocean has become a rubbish dump. Millions of tons of litter end up in the sea. According to the United Nations Environmental Program up to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic made its way into the ocean in just one year. Oil spills kill indiscriminately. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico impacted more than 14 species of whales and dolphins, killing more than 5,000 of these majestic creatures. While noise from shipping, oil and gas drilling, military sonar, and marine construction interfere with whale and dolphin communication, their ability to find food, and increase their stress levels. Increased stress levels impacts their immune systems and ability to reproduce.
We have nature reserves on land, why not the sea?
We live on a Blue Planet. A massive 70% of the Earth’s surface is water, yet just 5% of the ocean is protected from damaging human activities. With your help, we can protect the areas that are important to whales and dolphins, so they can live long and healthy lives.
Protecting migratory species
Many species of whales and dolphins migrate across the oceans. WDC works closely with governments and other NGOs at the UN's Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) to protect them and their habitat.
How your support can help
- Create protected areas – you can help us campaign for marine protected areas (MPAs) – nature reserves where whales and dolphins are safe from harmful activities.
- Research important places – so much is unknown about the places that are important to whales and dolphins – the places they gather to feed, breed, socialize and raise their young. You can support research to identify the best places to protect.
- Work with local communities and governments – By supporting WDC, you can help us work within communities and with governments to find ways to protect the homes of whales and dolphins.
- Fight plastic and pollution – Every individual can make a difference by reducing single plastic use, recycling, and disposing of our trash properly.
Marine protected area created in Antarctica – thanks to WDC supporters like you, we successfully campaigned to create the world’s largest marine protected area in the Ross Sea, covering nearly one million square miles.
Marine protected area created in Bangladesh – with help from people like you, we supported the creation of the first marine protected area in the seas off Bangladesh.
Speed limit set for ships – WDC supporters helped us campaign for a law that seasonally limits the speed of ships along the east coast of the United States. This has reduced the threat of harmful or lethal collisions with North Atlantic right whales by 90%, and also reduced the noise generated by the ships.
Identifying Important Marine Mammal Areas, or IMMAs – Over the past two years WDC has helped sponsor expert workshops to identify whale and dolphin habitats in need of protection in the Mediterranean, Pacific Islands and the North East Indian Ocean and South East Asian seas.
Tacking the threats
From climate change and vessel strikes to plastic and other pollution, human activities can have a devastating effect on whales and dolphins and the places where they live.
Find out how collisions with boats pose a threat to large whales.
What impact will a warming climate have on whales and dolphins?
Every year, numerous whales and dolphins strand on beaches. Why?
How do plastic and other forms of pollution in the oceans effect whales and dolphins?
Our work to create healthy seas
Whales and dolphins are at risk from human activities at sea.
They need your help. Save them by getting involved today.
Not Whale Food
Join WDC's efforts to reduce plastic pollution in our ocean. Find out how you can make a difference and become a champion for whales and dolphins.
Creating critical habitats
WDC's is campaigning to persuade governments around the globe to set up Marine Protected Areas which provide key whale and dolphin habitats with enhanced protection. From Antarctica to Scotland, we are making a difference.
Make a difference
Join our team - no matter which way you choose, your commitment helps whales, dolphins, and our shared planet.
Save the whales, save the world.
Adopt a whale and help us protect these amazing creatures.
You can join our team and help us save whales and dolphins
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