Celebrate Healthy Oceans by Supporting a Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary


| 1/29/2018 9:52:00 AM


Tags: rights of nature, Darlene May Lee, earth law center, ocean rights, whales, whale and dolphin sanctuary, Uruguay,
Oceanosanos Healthyoceans 

Uruguay wasn’t a country I knew much about before someone there reached out to Earth Law Center about whales and dolphins. This South American nation of Spanish and Portuguese speakers is a good friend to cetaceans of the southern Atlantic. In 2013 Uruguay passed a law declaring that its territorial and economic sea waters were a sanctuary for whales and dolphins.

I don’t know about you, but I remember hearing calls to “Save the Whales” when I was a child. We haven’t done a good job since then. Many cetacean species are in trouble because of human activity. The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species™ classifies three as Critically Endangered, seven as Endangered, six as Vulnerable, and five as Near Threatened.

The Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary in Uruguay

Rodrigo Garcia from Uruguay didn’t just get upset about the continuing decline of whale and dolphin populations, he decided to do something about it. In 2000 he established the Organización para la Conservación de Cetaceos (OCC) to educate, raise awareness and protect whales and dolphins. In 2013, he was the one who persuaded the legislature to name the country's waters as a safe haven for whales and dolphins.

Why are cetaceans so important?

Whales and dolphins are part of the sea’s food chain. When they are absent it knocks the marine ecosystem out of balance and affects other sea creatures.

Whales and dolphins are vital to our understanding of non-human minds. Scientific studies of cetacean species have led to discoveries about communication skills, emotion, cognition and self-awareness.




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