The South Atlantic sanctuary lost in the Political Ocean

25 Oct 2016

Press release n°2

66th IWC – International Whaling Commission
Portoroz – Slovenia
24-28 october 2016

Hope of seeing the international community declare the South Atlantic Ocean to be a domain where whales and sperm whales are protected from pollutions, collisions, industrial fishing and acoustic chaos is sinking in the quick sand of political alliances.

The South Atlantic represents slightly more than 10% of the world ocean. It is home or harbors temporarily according to migration periods 51 cetacean species, including blue whales, fin whales, Minke whales, Antarctic Minke whales, southern right whales, humpback whales and sperm whales.

The eclectic battle line made of the whaling triumvirate of the world- Iceland, Japan, Norway -, partnering with Russia, Antigua and Barbuda and the influent Morocco hooked up to the COP22 but not at all whale-friendly has together with some satellite countries, blocked the creation of the South Atlantic sanctuary.

38 votes in favor, 24 votes against, 3 abstentions. ¾ votes in favor were needed for the motion to pass.

This good project proposed by 3 South American countries and 2 African countries was consolidated by a dynamic and coherent management program. Fulfilling it would have enabled all South Atlantic neighbor countries to develop and enhance knowledge on cetaceans and for example encourage the oil industry in the Gulf of Guinea and the chemicals industry on the Río de la Plata to reduce contaminating discharges. Hunting is not the whales’ only enemy. Placed at the end of the food chain, whales are the ultimate mirror for the sanitary state of plankton, squid and fish essential to food security for humans. Protecting whales, the marine mammal sentinels, is to protect all the little people of the sea.

See also
Opening of the 66th IWC – International Whaling Commission, October 21, 2016
“On the Trail” special issue published for the 66th IWC, October 2016 (pdf, 10-pages – 2Mo)




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