The Whale Sanctuary Blog

News updates … Opinion … Commentary … Press releases … Background info … Archives.

When Captive Belugas Give Birth

At the Shedd Aquarium, the beluga Mauyak is pregnant. We all hope her calf is born healthy and lives beyond ...

This Is What Extinction Looks Like

I am in an airport on my way home from the San Juan Islands, Washington. I was there to attend ...

In the Wake of Scarlet

We couldn’t save Scarlet, but the effort was worthwhile. Sooner or later there will be another Southern Resident orca in ...

Statement re. Future Treatment of Scarlet

This morning, the Whale Sanctuary Project issued the following statement regarding future treatment of the orca Scarlet/J-50:

Updates on the “J” Pod Orcas

The Whale Sanctuary Project has joined an emergency effort to save the life of the orca J-50 (aka Scarlett). The ...

Sea Life Trust Is Building the World’s First Beluga Sanctuary

By this time next year, the Sea Life Trust expects to have opened the world’s first seaside sanctuary for formerly ...

Dio the Dog Goes Sniffing for Whale Poop

Dio is an ace sniffer dog, and his role is to direct the research vessel to where his colleagues can ...

Whale Sanctuary Project Joins Rescue Effort for Orca J-50

The Whale Sanctuary Project has joined an emergency effort in the Pacific Northwest to try to save the life of ...

A Mother Orca’s Grief – in the Ocean and in Captivity

We have all been transfixed by the scene of the mother orca Tahlequah carrying her dead infant in a display ...

Q&A with Dr. Lori Marino

How will a whale adapt to the wide-open space of a sanctuary after years in a concrete tank? Lori Marino ...

If Bill S-203 Dies, Will Reincarnation Follow?

Canada’s Bill S-203 ­– to end the captivity of whales and dolphins – was deprived of a final vote as ...

More Dolphin Deaths at Zoos and Theme Parks

The deaths of Maxine at the Brookfield Zoo and Alia at Dolphinaris raise the question, yet again, of whether these ...

Senator Christmas’s Poignant Speech to End Cetacean Captivity in Canada

Sen. Daniel Christmas addresses the Canadian Senate on behalf of S-203 – the Ending the Captivity of Whales and Dolphins ...

Sen. Sinclair’s Powerful Speech to End Cetacean Captivity in Canada

Senator Murray Sinclair of Manitoba addresses his colleagues on behalf of S-203 – the Ending the Captivity of Whales and ...

The Lummi Nation’s 7,000-Mile Trek to Free Tokitae

Members of the Lummi Nation are on a 7,000-mile trek to visit one of their own, the orca Tokitae, in ...

New York Judge Raises Key Questions about Animal Captivity

Do orcas and belugas, along with certain other animals, have a legal right not to be kept in captivity for ...

Ban on Whale Captivity in Canada Approaches Vote

The Canadian Senate is set to vote on a bill to outlaw whale and dolphin captivity. The vote may come ...

Among Beluga Whales, Family and Culture Come First

New discoveries from a 32-year study of beluga whales show the extent to which these animals value culture and family ...

Daphne Sheldrick – Matriarch of Sanctuaries

At the Elephant Orphanage, Daphne Sheldrick set the gold standard for the sanctuary movement all over the world.

Seaside Sanctuary Concept

A concept image of the seaside sanctuary that the Whale Sanctuary Project will be creating in a natural environment that ...

The Whale Sanctuary and the First Nations

In each region where the Whale Sanctuary Project is conducting our site search, we’ve been helped, guided and encouraged by ...

The Lummi Nation of Washington State

During the mid-1800s, in what would soon be known as Washington State, the Lummi people were exiled from their tribal ...

The Kwikwasut’inuxw Haxwa’mis of British Columbia

During our first field visit to prospective Canadian sanctuary sites, in July 2017, Whale Sanctuary Project president Dr. Lori Marino ...

Orca Katina Suffers Injury to Dorsal Fin

Katina, an orca who lives at SeaWorld Orlando, has suffered a significant gash to her dorsal fin. She sustained the ...

Joel Manby Resigns as CEO of SeaWorld

We learned this morning that SeaWorld Entertainment’s CEO, Joel Manby, has stepped down in the wake of the company reporting ...

Talks and Site Visits in Nova Scotia

Lori Marino, President of the Whale Sanctuary Project, was back in Nova Scotia this month to meet with provincial officials ...

If Only There Were a Seaside Sanctuary for Him

This baby beluga was spotted from the air lying almost dead on a deserted beach in Alaska. And everyone who ...

National Aquarium Discusses Plan for Dolphin Sanctuary

While the Whale Sanctuary Project pursues its plan to create the first seaside sanctuary for captive orcas and belugas, the ...

Vancouver Aquarium Ends Captive Whale and Dolphin Program

The Vancouver Aquarium will no longer keep whales and dolphins in captivity. CEO John Nightingale told Canada’s CBC News that ...

Dolphin Mirror Self-Recognition: the Science and the Ethics

New scientific paper shows two dolphins recognizing themselves in a mirror. This advanced cognitive capacity has only been observed in ...

TEDx Talk “Whales Without Walls” by Charles Vinick

In this November 2017 TEDx talk, Charles Vinick, Executive Director of the Whale Sanctuary Project, describes what he’s learned over ...

Whales and Dolphins: “Who” They Are

In this talk, Dr. Lori Marino talks about whales and dolphins: “who” they are, their history as a species, and ...

2017: A New Beginning for Captive Whales

Thanks to you, 2017 has exceeded our expectations in site selection, fund raising, and the growing movement to bring an ...

Morgan the Orca: a Tale of Betrayal

Morgan, an orca who was captured 10 years ago, is pregnant. A story of corrupt justice and corporate dealing involving ...

The Blackfish Effect

It’s coming up five years since the movie Blackfish premiered at Sundance. How has the landscape changed for whales and dolphins ...

Superpod One – Where it All Began

In the summer of 2011, a group of scientists, journalists and former orca trainers met up on San Juan Island. ...

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