The Pacific islands have announced that they will launch a “Pacific Year of the Whale” campaign in 2016.
At least 30 different whale and dolphin species around found throughout the region, which consists of 21 Pacific Island countries and territories. Some species, such as the blue whale and humpback whale, saw their populations decimated by the whaling industry. With protection now afforded to many species and the implementation of sanctuaries and other marine protected areas, numbers are now recovering.
Science, conservation and education will form major parts of the campaign which will look to further enhance whale conservation throughout the region. Many threats still exist such as entanglement in fishing nets, pollution and the possible consequences of climate change.
The campaign is being run by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme with the goal to produce an action plan by 2018 for future whale conservation action.
Photo © Vanessa Mignon