Whales and dolphins are incredibly intelligent, sociable creatures. In many ways, they are similar to us: they live in close family groups, pass knowledge on from generation to generation, have language, names for each other, play games, babysit each other's young and grieve for their dead. They play a vital role in the marine eco-system and whales, in particular, are crucial in our fight against the climate crisis. Whales sequester vast amounts of carbon dioxide in their bodies, which is locked in and sinks to the ocean bed with them when they die. Whale poo also helps to fertilise phytoplankton, a plantlike organism living at the surface of the water. Phytoplankton - a sort of floating rainforest - produce oxygen and provides every other breath you take - but phytoplankton can't do it without whales! For more information, please visit our website uk.whales.org or get in touch at email@example.com.
The four key areas of our work are:
• End whaling: Commercial whaling is cruel, illegal and unnecessary yet, every year, Japan, Norway and Iceland kill around 1,500 whales.
• Create clean, healthy seas: Our climate depends on healthy seas, which need healthy populations of whales and dolphins but oil and gas drilling, shipping and ocean pollution, including plastics, are threatening their lives and driving some species to the brink of extinction
• Prevent unnecessary deaths in nets: Hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins are accidentally caught and drown in commercial fishing nets every year, but it doesn't have to be this way - we can end 'bycatch'.
• End captivity: Whales, dolphins and orcas are taken from the wild as babies and then forced to perform tricks in concrete tanks for our "entertainment". Alone, swimming round and round in circles, most suffer physically and psychologically and die at a much younger age than in the wild.
WDC works globally to protect whales and dolphins through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation projects, field research and raising awareness through education and outreach, and much more.
Cover photo: WDC/Charlie Phillips