Support the establishment of Whale Sanctuary, Government urged

Accra� The Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on government to provide a firm support for the establishment of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mr Eric Lartey, the Executive Director of the GWS, said as representatives of government attending the International Whaling Commission (IWC) biennial meeting in September this year in Brazil, there is the need to recognise that their role is very important.

Mr Lartey said the decision of the delegation would in the long term affect the state of marine life in the Gulf of Guinea, which is touted as an important migration and calving habitat for marine mammals and cetaceans.

He said the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would contribute to the conservation of marine cetaceans and other marine mammals in Ghanaian waters as it would affirm the international effort at protecting whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Guinea and the South Atlantic Ocean.

He said if government fails to support the establishment of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary and votes in favour of abolishing of the 1982 Whaling Moratorium, which seeks to preserve marine mammals, it would bring adverse effects on biodiversity.

The 1982 Moratorium, facilitated by the IWC, banned commercial whaling on all whale species and populations known as ‘whale stocks’ from the 1985/1986 season onwards and this is referred to as the commercial whaling moratorium, and it remains in place till date.

Mr Lartey said, currently, Japan, Russia and some other nations are opposed to the moratorium seeking that the hunt and harvest of whales be restored.

He said if government supports the abolishment of the commercial whaling moratorium, it would have a negative effect on the marine ecosystem and also alter the way oxygen is produced from the seas, which in effect complements the available oxygen produced by plants.

Mr Lartey said any attempt to vote against the preservation of whales globally would also have repercussions on the income generated from tourism as it would lead to a decline in whale population and affect nature-based tourism in the country.

He said the effort of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he launched the ‘1.5 billion Marine Tourism Drive’ last year, with focus on whale watching, must be supported by the Ministries of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to conserve the whales in the sea.

If the population of our whales decline, it will also indirectly affect tourism because nature tourism generates a chunk of the tourism revenue in this country, he said.

Mr Lartey said voting against the whale conservation by the IWC would not only deprive the country of economic and health benefits but would also pose a huge security threat to the nation since other countries could invade our waters to hunt for whales.

He said If you open doors for foreign vessels to hunt for whales, it compromises on your national security because we don’t have a very robust surveillance system to take care foreign vessels that come to our waters.

He said the GWS would continue its advocacy to support conservation of marine biodiversity and work closely with government to protect marine resources due to the important role they play in human life.

He called on foreign missions such as Australian High Commission, the United States of America and British embassies to dialogue with the Government to ensure that past efforts invested into securing a global moratorium on whale killing are not wasted.

He called on the citizenry and nature lovers to be interested in the conservation of whales, dolphins and other marine mammals and add their voice to the global call.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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Support the establishment of Whale Sanctuary, Government urged

Accra� The Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on government to provide a firm support for the establishment of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Mr Eric Lartey, the Executive Director of the GWS, said as representatives of government attending the International Whaling Commission (IWC) biennial meeting in September this year in Brazil, there is the need to recognise that their role is very important.

Mr Lartey said the decision of the delegation would in the long term affect the state of marine life in the Gulf of Guinea, which is touted as an important migration and calving habitat for marine mammals and cetaceans.

He said the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary would contribute to the conservation of marine cetaceans and other marine mammals in Ghanaian waters as it would affirm the international effort at protecting whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Guinea and the South Atlantic Ocean.

He said if government fails to support the establishment of the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary and votes in favour of abolishing of the 1982 Whaling Moratorium, which seeks to preserve marine mammals, it would bring adverse effects on biodiversity.

The 1982 Moratorium, facilitated by the IWC, banned commercial whaling on all whale species and populations known as ‘whale stocks’ from the 1985/1986 season onwards and this is referred to as the commercial whaling moratorium, and it remains in place till date.

Mr Lartey said, currently, Japan, Russia and some other nations are opposed to the moratorium seeking that the hunt and harvest of whales be restored.

He said if government supports the abolishment of the commercial whaling moratorium, it would have a negative effect on the marine ecosystem and also alter the way oxygen is produced from the seas, which in effect complements the available oxygen produced by plants.

Mr Lartey said any attempt to vote against the preservation of whales globally would also have repercussions on the income generated from tourism as it would lead to a decline in whale population and affect nature-based tourism in the country.

He said the effort of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, when he launched the ‘1.5 billion Marine Tourism Drive’ last year, with focus on whale watching, must be supported by the Ministries of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development to conserve the whales in the sea.

If the population of our whales decline, it will also indirectly affect tourism because nature tourism generates a chunk of the tourism revenue in this country, he said.

Mr Lartey said voting against the whale conservation by the IWC would not only deprive the country of economic and health benefits but would also pose a huge security threat to the nation since other countries could invade our waters to hunt for whales.

He said If you open doors for foreign vessels to hunt for whales, it compromises on your national security because we don’t have a very robust surveillance system to take care foreign vessels that come to our waters.

He said the GWS would continue its advocacy to support conservation of marine biodiversity and work closely with government to protect marine resources due to the important role they play in human life.

He called on foreign missions such as Australian High Commission, the United States of America and British embassies to dialogue with the Government to ensure that past efforts invested into securing a global moratorium on whale killing are not wasted.

He called on the citizenry and nature lovers to be interested in the conservation of whales, dolphins and other marine mammals and add their voice to the global call.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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