Whales and Dolphin Conservation Centre
Hunted. Captured. Killed.
Millions of highly intelligent mammals are killed each year, hunted for their meat, bycatch, and are put into captivity to be ogled at, living in small tanks and being forced to perform tricks.
The WDC works to protect whales and dolphins from threats posed by humans. Whaling, bycatch and ghost nets are the biggest killers, the mammals are caught in nets being used to catch fish for consumption and nets which are left behind from fishing which they get caught in, are unable to escape and end up dying.
Today I met one of the many people trying to stop this legal animal abuse, Alison Rose is the centre manager of Spey Bay Whales and Dolphin Conservation Centre, which entails looking after the team and managing the raised funds. Alison said that she helps with problems that arise and to bring in funding for the WDC.
Alison was Interested in flora and fauna so she decided to study zoology, but she realised she wasn't keen on the research side of it. She worked at WDC as an education officer, then applied for manager five years ago. Alison said that the degree she had in zoology was not necessary, but it did help as it set her apart making her application different from everyone else's.
She said her job is now mainly indoor and office based. I asked what she enjoyed the most about her job and she responded by saying said she enjoyed “working with a really nice team here” and how “everyone cares” about their work.
Alison has worked on many different projects for WDC, raising funds to install heating allowing the centre to stay open longer into the winter, bringing in more people to support their effort in trying to save these extraordinary animals that are decreasing at an alarming rate. Another project was films for the ice house which was called the “Dry Dive” showing people the amazing animals and wildlife that populates our waters of the Moray Firth.
I asked Alison if her job was challenging, her response was yes. With budget cuts it makes running the centre very difficult but with donations from supporters this definitely helps, though this is not the only problem.
The 200 year old ice house needs constant maintenance and it is becoming more and more difficult to acquire money. Scottish Natural Heritage has stopped donations due to budget cuts, which has lead to a serious shortage in money making it increasingly difficult.
By Isobella Strange