Whales and Dolphins
January 25, 2008 La Nacion
Through an executive decree issued by President Oscar Arias, Costa Rica became one of the first sanctuaries for whales and dolphins in Latin America. This means that all and any activities which involve the hunting, catching, hurting, or in any other way harassing or trading cetaceans are banned in all territorial waters, including those in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. In addition to being part of the migration routes of whales, Costa Rican waters –scientists have confirmed– harbor several areas where whales mate and give birth. The species confirmed include humpback whales, which are endangered, official sources said.
Costa Rica was ratified as the headquarters for the West Pacific Conservation Marine Corridor, which takes in the area of the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Cocos Island (Costa Rica), Coiba Island (Panama) and the Colombian islands Malpelo and Gorgona. Costa Rican Ricardo Meneses was confirmed at the top executive of the organization during the 16th Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Environment Ministers, held in the Dominican Republic.