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Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...
North Atlantic right whale - Peter Flood

New Petition to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales from Vessel Strikes

With fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the whole world, we have...

Beluga move plans postponed after service boat sinks

Plans to return beluga whales, Little White and Little Grey to their sea sanctuary in...

Captive Orca Nakai Dies at SeaWorld San Diego

credit: SeaWorld San Diego An orca has died while in captivity at SeaWorld San Diego....

Huge protected area for whale and dolphins in African waters announced

Africa’s largest network of marine protected areas, has been announced by the central African nation of Gabon.

Marine protected areas, or MPAs are stretches of ocean where harmful activities such as oil and gas exploration and certain types of fishing are restricted, or ships are required to slow down so they don’t hit whales. They can be close to shore or far from land on the high seas.

The new African network of protected area will consist of 20 marine parks and aquatic reserves and will protect 26 percent of Gabon’s territorial seas and extend across 20,500 square miles (53,000 square kilometres).

The vast area is home to a wide variety of threatened marine life, including many species of whales and dolphins.

Fishing is one of the biggest problems for whales and dolphins and the Gabon government is looking to create a protected area that has the most sustainable fisheries management plan in West Africa —an area infamous for overfishing and abuses by foreign fleets. The MPA will have separate zones have been established for commercial and artisanal fishing fleets, in an effort to restore sustainable fishing.

A massive 70% of the Earth’s surface is water. Yet only a little more than 5% of the ocean is protected. WDC is working with governments, international bodies, local communities, scientists and other stakeholders to locate, design and implement protected areas in the places whales and dolphins need them most.

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