Whale species of the beaked whales. Many of

Whale and dolphin
conservation

There are
around 90 different species of the cetaceans. The cetaceans can be divided into
two groups; the baleen whales such as the blue whale, gray whale, and right
whale. The baleen whales have comb-like bristles that hang from the upper jaw
that allows them to filter the water in their mouths. The water will flood back
out, but animals like krill or small fish will be eaten.

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The other
group is the toothed whales. Here you have beaked whales, beluga whale,
narwhals, dolphins, porpoises and, the only large whale in this category; the
sperm whale.

The
dolphins are the largest group of the cetaceans. And they, as most people don’t
know, include the orca/killer whale and the pilot whale. There are tons of
different dolphin species, but only a few of them are freshwater-dolphins which
are found in large rivers all over the world. Sadly, as one of these few
species, the Yangtze River dolphin was declared functionally extinct in 2007.

Beaked
whales are the least known of the cetaceans, probably because they live in the
deep waters, and there are at least 20 different species of the beaked whales.

Many of you
may not know what a porpoise is. It’s basically a dolphin, but they have
stubbier beaks and flatter teeth.

All the
marine mammals are highly social and highly intelligent. There is documentation
of super-pods with 1000 individuals or more. In some dolphin societies, groups
will stay close to injured and sick individuals and even aid them to the
surface if needed. In both whale and dolphin societies there have been
discovered older individuals that have “adopted” orphans.

The
cetaceans have some of the richest languages known. Clicks, grunts, whistles,
calls, songs and so many other sounds still baffle scientist. They are still
trying to unravel the complexity, and are nowhere close to understanding these
sounds.

“It is only
within the heart of their communities that whales and dolphins can lead their
lives to the full”. This is a quote from the whale and dolphin conservation
website.

End Captivity:

Wild whales
and dolphins travel up to 100 miles a day. And they live in complex societies
and are highly intelligent. Yet they are taken away from their families and
confined for human entertainment. A concrete tank can never replace the ocean.
It can even weaken their immune systems, because they get stressed mentally,
emotionally, and physically. You may have heard that animals live longer in
captivity, but that’s not right for the whales and dolphins, where the death
rate is higher in captivity and they all die too young.

Thanks to
donations and other kinds of help from their supporters, WDC has worked for
decades to end the captivity of these beautiful creatures, and the change in
public opinion has started. You can help by convincing our states and companies
to not support the cruelty. You can help educate the public. You can help them
build sanctuaries for ex-captive whales and dolphins

As it says
on the website: “Join our fight for freedom. You can help end the suffering” It
also says; “Around 3,000 whales and dolphins are held in aquaria, zoos, and
marine parks globally and we won’t stop until the last of these facilities
closes. You can help create a happier future”

Cathy
Williamson is the leader of WDC’s international End captivity team, and has
been for over two decades. She is an expert in whale and dolphin captivity,
live captures, and trade. She has a background in environmental science and
policy. She started campaigning at the age of 11 after she wrote to the
government of the Faroe Islands, asking them to stop slaughtering the pilot
whale.

Stop Whaling:

Just like
smoke and alcohol (in Norway), it is forbidden to show whaling in commercials.
All trade of whale products is forbidden. Yet, Japan, Norway and Iceland kill
about 1500 whales every year. They defy the international bans and the global
opinion. They hunt even though there is little demand for the meat. In Iceland,
they just about only feed it to the tourists, in japan it is even used in pet
food. In Norway, it is used to feed animals on fur farms, which is yet another
evil cause.

WDC works
at the highest political diplomatic and scientific levels to stop the hunting.
And you can help them investigate and expose the illegal trade, you can educate
the public in whaling nations and; you can show tourist to whaling countries
whose actions are really fueling the slaughter. Or you can just donate…

At their
website, they say; “There is no justification to this killing. Join us and make
it stop”

Some whales
live to over 200 years old and are slow to reproduce. Which means that the
hunting has a great impact on the populations. Around 3 million whales were
killed in the twentieth century. There used to be tons of North Atlantic right
whales living around the USA. Only about 400 remain. Around the world there are
only somewhere between 10.000 and 20.000 blue whales left. The largest creature
on earth! They never recovered from the hunting. Hundreds of thousands were
slaughtered up until the 1960s.

As the WDC
say; it is “not just about the numbers” By this they mean that the act itself
is cruel and unnecessary. There is no humane way to kill a whale at sea either.
Many of them die a slow and painful death. Some of them even drown.

“Let’s
consign whaling to the history books. You can help shape the future.”

Astrid
Fuchs is leading WDC’s international “Stop Whaling” team. She is an European, who
studied environmental law. She represents WDC in various international
assemblies, as the international Whaling commission and the Conservation on
International Trade in Endangered species. She has been active in conservation
and animal rights since school, so she started working as a volunteer at the
Scottish dolphin Centre.

Ending bycatch:

Bycatch is
“accidental entanglement in fishing nets and gear”, and it kills hundreds of
thousands of individuals every year. There is no ocean area where this is not
an issue. Like us humans, whales and dolphins cannot breathe under water. When
they are caught in fishing gear, they panic and can get terrible wounds and
broken bones, trying to escape. They will eventually close their blowhole and
suffocate. Those that survive often die as a result of their injuries.

WDC works
with the fishing industry to modify fishing practices to reduce the risk of
entanglement. They engage fishing communities to find solutions.

Sarah
Dolman leads the WDC’s End Bycatch team. She has a master’s degree in fisheries
science and joined the WDC in 1995.