Whales in the South Pacific | WWF

Whales in the South Pacific



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Southern right whale
© Brian J. Skerry/ National Geographic Stock/ WWF

Cetaceans of the Pacific

The warm tropical waters of the South Pacific are an important breeding ground for whales journeying from feeding grounds to mate and calve.
It is thought that 58 species of cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises) exist in the Pacific. This includes the traditionally significant Sperm Whale and the largest extant mammal, the Blue Whale

WWF’s involvement in protecting cetaceans to date has largely consisted of working with Pacific Island governments to declare their Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) as whale sanctuaries. WWF and partners in the South Pacific suceeded in creating in the largest whale sanctuary in the world, encompassing the EEZs of 11 South Pacific countries, the sanctuaries cover more than 30 million km2 of ocean, creating a global blueprint for whale conservation and the management of shared marine resources. 

WWF has also worked on raising awareness of the status of whales with national stakeholders as a part of lobbying for the declaration of sanctuaries, and in lobbying Pacific Island Government members of the International Whaling Commission to vote for the non-resumption of commercial whaling at the commission’s annual meetings.

WWF is now moving towards facilitating the development of management plans for these declared whale sanctuaries, research, and to build the capacity of national implementers to manage and monitor these protected areas. This work is being carried out in collaboration with organisations, including the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium.
 

 
	© WWF-SPPO
Whale sanctuaries cover 30km2 of ocean in the Pacific
© WWF-SPPO

WWF and partners in the South Pacific suceeded in creating in the largest whale sanctuary in the world, encompassing the EEZs of 11 South Pacific countries, the sanctuaries cover more than 30 million km2 of ocean