To celebrate World Whale and Dolphin Day on July 23, WTA and ATP players have teamed up with a global charity dedicated to their conservation and protection.
WDC, Whale and Dolphin Conservation has been fighting since 1987 to defend these creatures against the many threats they face through campaigns, lobbying, advising governments, conservation projects, field research and rescue.
WTA and ATP players such as Julia Goerges, Donna Vekic, Lucie Safarova, Kevin Anderson and more are using their platform to raise awareness in support of their ongoing work.
“I’m passionate about lending my voice and raising awareness for World Whale and Dolphin Day,” Anderson said. “Keeping the ocean free from plastic and pollution is an initiative I strongly support and I know these causes go hand in hand. Hopefully our message can go far so others will take the issues these incredible creatures face very seriously."
His statement was echoed by fellow player Vekic, who symbolically adopted a wild dolphin named Spirit. WDC were the first charity to offer an 'adopt-a-dolphin' package for supporters nearly 30 years ago, and now have thousands of dolphin, orca and humpback adopters all over the world.
Through her adoption, Vekic will receive regular updates about Spirit and her dolphin pod, who can be spotted traveling wild and free along the coasts of the Moray Firth in Scotland. All proceeds go directly to the protection of whales and dolphins around the world and the conservation of the ocean in which they live.
It’s a cause that goes beyond conservation. The charity says that protecting whales is a climate issue too, as whales remove and stockpile tons of carbon from the atmosphere during their lifetimes and help fertilise the phytoplankton that create oxygen to give us every other breath we take. According to WDC, whether it’s through plastic pollution, hunting or accidental entanglement in fishing gear, every great whale lost could be the equivalent of removing up to 250 tennis courts of forest a year.
"I am really happy to support WDC alongside the WTA and ATP players, to enhance awareness about the importance of protecting whales and dolphins, and our shared planet,” said Julia Goerges.
“I am really passionate about ocean conservation, animal welfare and the environment - so when I found out that the protection of whales and dolphins plays such an important role in the ecosystem and combating the climate crisis, it was a no-brainer for me to get behind this amazing initiative."