Marine mammals in trouble?

During the Marine Mammal Days “Zeezoogdierdagen”, which are held on the island of Texel on 22-24 February 2019, various direct threats on marine mammals will be discussed. These threats include underwater noise, plastics, entanglement, collisions with ships and whaling. But there is also focus on how we may be able to mitigate these threats and what can be achieved with (inter)national nature conservation policy.
In Dutch waters the common and grey seal, and four species cetaceans occur: harbour porpoise, minke whale, white-beaked dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. The North Sea and other waters are becoming increasingly intensive used by humans, which may cause marine mammals getting into trouble.
The Workgroup Marine Mammals organizes this event for marine mammal enthusiasts for the third consecutive year. On Saturday 23 Feb, there are English-spoken lectures at the NIOZ by various (inter)national researchers and people working in nature conservation and policy. Many marine mammal-related organizations are present at the Marine Mammal market outside the lecture hall. Other interesting activities during the weekend take place such as workshops, films and presentations. Many of them are free. Below are some highlights:

  • Friday evening 22 Feb: Eyewitness report by the ship doctor of the Willem Barendsz, the Dutch whaling ship. He
    talks about his experiences during the whaling expedition in the Antarctic waters in 1956 -57 and shows unique
    images from those days.
  • Saturday evening 23 Feb with Philip Hoare (UK writer) and Andrew Sutton (UK documentary maker and
    photographer). Philip has always been captivated by whales and became an expert on the classic novel “Moby
    Dick”. He regularly writes articles and books about whales. He shares his interest with Andrew, who will give a
    glimpse of the unbelievable underwater world of whales. During the evening there is also the possibility to visit the
    beautiful whale exposition hall of Ecomare.
  • Sunday 24 Feb: Visit the ‘Greenland’ barn of Adrie and Ineke Vonk, stacked with with whale bones, or participate
    in the workshop ‘diet research’ by the marine biologist Mardik Leopold! But are many more interesting activities,
    like movies, talks, presentations and the Marine Mammal Market.

More information at our website:, where tickets can be ordered.