Journal of Marine Sciences

Protecting Wild Dolphins and Whales: Current Crises, Strategies, and Future Projections

Publishing date
06 Jul 2012
Submission deadline
06 Jan 2012

Lead Editor

1Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology Program and Center for Ethics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA

2The Marine Mammal Center, Sausalito, CA 94965-2619, USA

3Department of Environmental Science & Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA

Protecting Wild Dolphins and Whales: Current Crises, Strategies, and Future Projections


In the past few years, we have witnessed the first anthropocentrically caused extinction of a dolphin species, the Baiji, in recent history. There are currently several other cetacean species on the brink of extinction or endangered. Moreover, many cetacean subpopulations are under siege from various stresses. We now know that cetaceans are not only intelligent, highly social mammals, but they possess cultural traditions. These characteristics necessitate a move from the traditional “number-based” approach of conservation to a more progressive “protection-based” strategy that takes into account their psychology as unique individuals, their social complexity, and their cultural identities. In this special issue of the Journal of Marine Biology, we will explore the topic of dolphin and whale protection from several angles. First, we will place the importance of this issue in historical context and provide an updated picture of the urgent conservation issues facing cetaceans today, particularly in a global ecosystem rife with degradation. Second, we will discuss the various strategies posed and utilized to address cetacean conservation problems ranging from empirical and scientific studies and applications to public education and advocacy aimed at human behavioral and social change. Finally, we will examine various trajectories for the future from continuing current practices to implementing bolder, more progressive, and less conventional approaches to cetacean protection. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Recent extinctions and endangered cetacean species
  • Climate change
  • Habitat destruction (oil spills, toxins, chemical pollution, etc.)
  • Noise pollution
  • Whale watching
  • Cetacean immunology and disease
  • Laws and treaties
  • Dolphin drives, whale hunting, and bycatch
  • Cetacean culture and social modeling
  • Cetacean psychology
  • Public education
  • The role of advocacy

Before submission authors should carefully read over the journal's Author Guidelines, which are located at Prospective authors should submit an electronic copy of their complete manuscript through the journal Manuscript Tracking System at according to the following timetable:


  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 934048
  • - Editorial

Protecting Wild Dolphins and Whales: Current Crises, Strategies, and Future Projections

Lori Marino | Frances Gulland | E. C. M. Parsons
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 807294
  • - Review Article

The Negative Impacts of Whale-Watching

E. C. M. Parsons
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 567276
  • - Review Article

Social and Behavioural Factors in Cetacean Responses to Overexploitation: Are Odontocetes Less “Resilient” Than Mysticetes?

Paul R. Wade | Randall R. Reeves | Sarah L. Mesnick
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 106282
  • - Research Article

Summary of Reported Whale-Vessel Collisions in Alaskan Waters

Janet L. Neilson | Christine M. Gabriele | ... | Janice M. Straley
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 684279
  • - Review Article

Cetaceans and Marine Debris: The Great Unknown

Mark Peter Simmonds
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 230653
  • - Review Article

The Painful Side of Trap and Fixed Net Fisheries: Chronic Entanglement of Large Whales

Michael J. Moore | Julie M. van der Hoop
  • Special Issue
  • - Volume 2012
  • - Article ID 718935
  • - Review Article

River Cetaceans and Habitat Change: Generalist Resilience or Specialist Vulnerability?

Brian D. Smith | Randall R. Reeves
Journal of Marine Sciences
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