The Brazilian government has today signed a federal decree establishing the Brazilian Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary, which will drastically increase protection for all cetacean species along the country’s entire 5,000 mile long coast.
According to José Truda Palazzo, Jr., Brazilian Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission, “the initiative sends a clear and powerful message to the international community in relation to Brazil’s commitment towards whale conservation, and also reinforces our campaign for a South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary to be established in the entire oceanic basin.”
The decree, backed by Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is yet another sign of growing momentum towards radical protection measures across wide swathes of the southern oceans. Earlier this year, Chile declared its jurisdictional waters as a whale sanctuary, protecting the whale and dolphin population along its 3,400 mile shoreline on the Pacific coast of South America.
There is also a growing movement to prevent other nation’s, particularly Japan, from carrying out whaling activities in the region. However, a consortium of South American countries, including Brazil, have repeatedly failed to persuade the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to sanction the establishment of a whale sanctuary in the southern Atlantic Ocean from the east coast of South America to the west coast of Africa.
Image Credit – Marshmallow via flickr.com on a Creative Commons license
Andrew is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.