13 November 2012

"Reloading" a community to save the whales

Save the Whales: Reloaded’ forms new global community to protect whales and dolphins across the world’s oceans in all of the places where they most need help.  The alliance was announced following the World Whale Conference held at the end of October at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Brighton, UK, the hotel where the original moratorium on whaling was signed in 1982.
Tethys was joined by over 75 leading environmental and animal protection groups and businesses committing to Save the Whales: Reloaded. The news was announced by whale and dolphin specialists Planet Whale which orchestrated the alliance.
Identifying key locations where whales and dolphins are currently under threat, the alliance has announced the first three sites targeted for immediate action. These are:

- the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary
Supporters will campaign against the ongoing slaughter of whales within the sanctuary by the Japanese whaling fleet, and for the creation of an Antarctic reserve network. Says Erich Hoyt, Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) Research Fellow and author of Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises: “We are calling on every country to make this commitment to whales and the marine ecosystem, stop all fishing there, and to give the strongest possible message for conservation in the global commons and high seas of the great Southern Ocean. This is our big chance; we can’t blow it.” 

- New Zealand’s Coastal Waters

Maui and Hector’s dolphins are the smallest and rarest marine dolphins on earth and live only in New Zealand. Over the past four decades, gillnetting and trawling have decimated them almost to the point of extinction. Save the Whales: Reloaded supporters will petition the New Zealand government to increase the ban on trawling and set nets along the coastline to extend to the species' full range. 

- Loro Parque, Tenerife.
Captured two years ago, wild orca Morgan languishes in Loro Parque, a privately owned entertainment park in the Canary Islands. Supporters will be campaigning for the release of Morgan back to the wild.

Planet Whale is also inviting the public to support Save the Whales: Reloaded and help identify the next generation of Marine Protected Areas. Visitors to last weekend’s WhaleFest 2012 event in Brighton mapped out an astonishing 1,000 areas of the oceans which they would like to see ring fenced for the protection of wild whale and dolphin communities. These maps will be combined with others drawn by people across the globe to ensure members of the public, governments, charities and other stakeholders all have a say in the future protection of the oceans.

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