Biodiversity & Ecosystem Management Headlines

World Environment Day – Go Wild for Life, Go Wild for Whales!

The theme of World Environment Day commemorated on 5 June each year Zero Tolerance of Illegal Trade of Wild Animals with the slogan - Go Wild for Life!

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has chosen to not only Go Wild for Life, but to Go Wild for Whales, as part of their Protect Pacific Whales campaign this World Environment Day.

On the Protect Pacific Whales web page, http://www.sprep.org/yearofthewhale, you can read wild facts about whales.  For example, did you know that the closest livings relative to cetaceans (whales and dolphins) are hippos? Or that the blue whale is bigger than the largest of dinosaurs?

The Protect Pacific Whales campaign has also launched a Facebook competition for whale lovers to send in their photos or drawings of whales by 22 June this year.  Once the submissions for entries has been closed, these will be posted on SPREP’s Facebook page for visitors to “like” their favourite picture, and the ones with the most “likes” will win prizes sponsored by Digicel Samoa.  You can find out more about the competition at:   http://www.sprep.org/images/year_of_the_whale/FBFlyer.pdf

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Whales and dolphins are sentinels for the oceans - the impacts of a changing climate, whaling for meat and pollution on whales will likely also affect humans. As the Protect Pacific Whales Campaign website states – “What happens to whales will also happen to people.”

According to SPREP’s Shark and Ray Conservation Officer, Ms Juney Ward, “Humpback whales in the Pacific are one of the species that had been hunted almost to extinction before a moratorium in the 1960’s put a stop to their hunting.  It is a great success story that the ban on illegal fishing and trade has allowed humpback populations to slowly recover in some areas in the Pacific.”

For more information on Protect Pacific Whales campaign, or any questions you may have about whales, email: pacificwhales@sprep.org

Happy World Environment Day and Go Wild for Life! And Go Wild for Whales!
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