WDC: Eliminating the biggest cause of death for whales and dolphins

August 2, 2023

Every year, hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins around the world are accidentally killed in fishing nets and ropes. This ‘bycatch’ is the biggest cause of harm and death to whales and dolphins today.

With their key role in the seafood market, supermarkets have an important role in ensuring consumers that whales, dolphins and porpoises have not been harmed during fishing operations.Working with partner NGO the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, WDC has been working to mobilise the United Kingdom’s seafood industry to protect marine wildlife—including by auditing the supply chains of UK supermarkets for fisheries that are high risk for cetacean bycatch. Last year, WDC completed audits for 5 supermarkets, including Tesco and Co-op, covering 330 individual fisheries.

Both Tesco and Co-op have publicly committed to addressing the high-risk fisheries identified by the audits and to implement the recommendations from the audits (including regular, detailed, and standardized public bycatch reporting and bycatch mitigation measures).Thanks to WDC’s efforts, Tesco has made a commitment to put 100% observer coverage and bycatch mitigation measures in place throughout their supply chain

Find out more about WDC’s work with Tesco