Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) was founded in 1987 as the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. However in 2012, it dropped the word society from its title to reflect the fact that it had transformed itself into a campaigning body.
In the UK, USA, Germany and Australia, WDC has teams on the ground that it employs. And in Argentina it works closely with Fundación Cethus (with whom it developed an acoustic tool) on the conservation and welfare of whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans).
Whale and Dolphin Conservation is a proud and self-declared animal rights group, which campaigns at IWC’s and CITES’ CoPs, and within the EU and other institutions, ‘to have legal rights granted to whales and dolphins’. It is equally committed, it says, to making the seas healthy, which, in its view, ‘necessitates curtailing commercial fishing, oil and gas drilling, as well as shipping’. And it wants to put an end to bycatch, which, IWMC believes, is a totally unrealistic aspiration, unless, that is, capture fisheries are abolished. This suggests that WDC’s unarticulated, de facto, goal is to end capture fisheries. Furthermore, WDC wants to outlaw the ‘holding of whales and dolphins in captivity’ and put a stop to all whaling on the high seas.
According to its report and financial statements for 2019 – 2018, WDC created the world’s first sanctuary for captive whales in association with the SEA LIFE Trust.
Under our achievements, WDC highlights how in 2017 it persuaded the EU Parliament to urge the EU Commission to ‘stop whale meat being moved through EU ports’ (See here). WDC further boasts about how in 2018 it ‘forced Radisson hotels to stop selling whale meat at the Park Inn Radisson in Iceland’. Also in 2018, it took partial credit for the call by CITES’ Standing Committee 70, in Sochi, Russia, for ‘Japan to halt hunting sei whales in international waters’ (See here).
Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s 80-strong staff is led by Chris Butler-Stroud.
The organization is overseen by trustees, led by its chairperson, Dr. Lisa Drewe, author of Islandeering: Adventures Around the Edge of Britain’s Hidden Islands, who joined the organisation in 2016.
According to the Trustees, WDC’s income in 2019 was £3,914,549 and its expenditure was £3,378,364, including the cost of raising funds, which amounted to £969,947.