Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society

From Academic Kids

The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS) is the most prominent environmental organization that dedicates itself to "conservation and welfare of all whales, dolphins and porpoises."

The stated aims of Society are:

To reduce, and ultimately, eliminate the continuing threats to cetaceans and their habitats.
To raise awareness of cetaceans and educate people about the need to address the continuing threats to their welfare and survival.
To prevent suffering in individual whales, dolphins and porpoises, whether in their natural environment or in captivity.
To stop the deliberate killing of whales and dolphins for commercial and so-called 'scientific' purposes.
To stop the unnecessary deaths of cetaceans from man-made threats such as pollution or entanglement in fishing nets.
To prevent the extinction of endangered species and promote the recovery of all cetacean populations.
To secure adequate protection for - and maintain the health of - all cetacean habitats.
To promote a worldwide interest in cetaceans

(Fair use quote from the WDCS website).

These aims bring the WDCS into seemingly irreconcilable dispute with pro-whaling nations and organisations such as the High North Alliance. The WDCS is frequently critical of them (and them of it) and organises campaigns (such as protesting at the Norwegian embassy) against whaling.

In 1996, the WDCS was shown, at least sometimes, to be over-zealous in its activities. On May 1 1995, the society published a full-page advertisement in The Times campaigning against Whaling in the Faroe Islands, featuring emotive pictures of dead whales, saying that "whaling is murder and murder is wrong." The WDCS also claimed that the (supposedly anti-whaling) views of the Faroese people were being suppressed by the pro-whaling Government. The Advertising Standards Authority, asked to review the advert by the Faroese Pilot Whaler's Association, found that the WDCS could not provide independent evidence of its claim and was told not to repeat it.

The WDCS is primarily a UK operation but has offices in Germany and Australia and carries out projects in Asia and the Americas. The charity was founded in 1987 and is headquartered in Chippenham in Wiltshire. Its most significant physical presence is its Moray Firth Wildlife Centre in Spey Bay on the Moray Firth in Scotland. It took over the running of, and expanded, the Centre from a local dolphin watching operator in November 2003.

The Society is very closely linked to out of the blue holidays, a eco-tourism company that packages whale watching trips around the world. Formally speaking the two entities are separate as the WDCS is a non-commercial charity whereas out of the blue is a commercial entity that gives profits to the WDCS.

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