sábado, 31 de julho de 2010

Brazilian waters: sanctuary for whales and dolphins

Some species of whales such as humpback, minke and orca, and several species of dolphins, they can enjoy the waters off the Brazilian coast as a sanctuary for preserving and non-lethal use of their species.

The decree of President Lula, published in the Official Gazette on December 18, 2008, reaffirms the national interest in the field of preservation and protection of cetaceans, allowing scientific research and tourist use ordered.

The publication date coincides with 21 years of law prohibiting the intentional harassment and poaching of these animals. Law 7.643/87 determines that fishing of whale in Brazilian waters, and provides for punishment of two to five years imprisonment and fines for violators.

Besides protection, the measure seeks to boost tourism observation of these animals, which is a lucrative way to use non-lethal. The creation of the sanctuary seeks to protect whales and dolphins of noise pollution of the oceans, caused by sonar and boat traffic.
With the norm, Brazil marked its international position in relation to other countries that defend hunting. The Environment Minister Carlos Minc said transform Brazil into the sanctuary means a message to predators, so they do not commit acts contrary to the conservation of cetaceans.

The minister, however, alerted to the fact that Brazil needs to increase the strength of the centers for the protection of cetaceans. Minc said that Brazil currently maintains only 0.5% of their marine environment.

- We want to reach 10% by creating new marine protected areas and use the money for environmental compensation for this. Our marine protected areas are too little and occupy a small space - evaluated the minister.

Time to look after the welfare of whales
The difficulties inherent to kill a large animal, partially submerged in the sea, gives rise to serious problems of welfare. Still, within the International Whaling Commission, issues of welfare remain practically without receiving due attention. Now the hunting of whales on a large scale seems to be returning to the discussion, with some countries wanting to suspend the measure that determines the ban on commercial whaling.

A global coalition of over 950 organizations in animal welfare in 154 countries, led by WSPA, has the purpose of securing the international recognition that the debate over whaling is not just a question of quantity and conservation, but also animal suffering.

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