NO BLASTING IN SAL REI HARBOUR (BOAVISTA) IN SPRING AND SUMMER

  • by: Beatrice Jann
  • recipient: Ministra das Infra-estruturas e Economia Marítima Dra. Sara Maria Duarte Lopes

Sal Rei Bay (on the Island of Boavista, Republic of Cape Verde), including the waters immediately adjacent to the harbour, comprises the single most important breeding location known to a small and threatened population of humpback whales (Berubé et at. 2013; Ryan et al. 2013). Plans to conduct underwater blasting at Sal Rei Harbour from April until August 2014 will, in our professional opinions, likely result in the injury (Todd et al. 1966) or potential death (Ketten et al. 1993) of humpback whales.

This is one of the smallest populations of humpback whales in the world (Berubé et al. 2013), and even a small mortality event could compromise the viability of this already threatened population. Measures to protect this species are required by a range of international agreements and conventions to which Cape Verde is signatory: the Convention on Biological Diversity (ratified on 29.03.1995), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (ratified on 01.05.2006).

In addition to the serious conservation issues at stake for this threatened population of whales, the local whale-watching business and tourism will suffer greatly if these animals are displaced from the region.

We urge you to take immediate action to ensure that underwater blasting does not take place during the critical breeding and nursing period of these whales (February-June). In addition, the Cape Verdes are a major nesting site for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), which come to the islands between May and August. These endangered animals would also be harmed by the explosions in the harbour.

We therefore ask that these activities, the use of explosives in Sal Rei Harbour, be postponed until October.

Beatrice Jann (Swiss Whale Society, Switzerland)

Dr Simon Berrow (Irish Whale and Dolphin Group / Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland)

Dr Cornelis Hazevoet (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Portugal)

Dr Conor Ryan (Marine Conservation Research, United Kingdom)

Pedro López Suárez (BIOS.CV, Boa Vista, Cabo Verde)

Frederick Wenzel (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, USA)

Sal Rei Bay (on the Island of Boavista, Republic of Cape Verde), including the waters immediately adjacent to the harbour, comprises the single most important breeding location known to a small and threatened population of humpback whales (Berubé et at. 2013; Ryan et al. 2013). Plans to conduct underwater blasting at Sal Rei Harbour from April until August 2014 will, in our professional opinions, likely result in the injury (Todd et al. 1966) or potential death (Ketten et al. 1993) of humpback whales.



This is one of the smallest populations of humpback whales in the world (Berubé et al. 2013), and even a small mortality event could compromise the viability of this already threatened population. Measures to protect this species are required by a range of international agreements and conventions to which Cape Verde is signatory: the Convention on Biological Diversity (ratified on 29.03.1995), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (ratified on 01.05.2006).



In addition to the serious conservation issues at stake for this threatened population of whales, the local whale-watching business and tourism will suffer greatly if these animals are displaced from the region.



We urge you to take immediate action to ensure that underwater blasting does not take place during the critical breeding and nursing period of these whales (February-June). In addition, the Cape Verdes are a major nesting site for loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta), which come to the islands between May and August. These endangered animals would also be harmed by the explosions in the harbour.



We therefore ask that these activities, the use of explosives in Sal Rei Harbour, be postponed until October.



Beatrice Jann (Swiss Whale Society, Switzerland)


Dr Simon Berrow (Irish Whale and Dolphin Group / Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Ireland)


Dr Cornelis Hazevoet (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, Portugal)


Dr Conor Ryan (Marine Conservation Research, United Kingdom)


Pedro López Suárez (BIOS.CV, Boa Vista, Cabo Verde)


Frederick Wenzel (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, USA)

Update #35 years ago
THE CAPEVERDEAN ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCY HAS RECOMMENDED TO POSTPONE THE BLASTING ACTIVITIES AT SAL-REI HARBOUR TILL 15TH JUNE... GOOD NEWS!!!

THERE WILL BE SOME IN-WATER SURVEYS BETWEEN LATE MAY AND MID JUNE TO RESCUE AS MANY JUVENILE GREEN AND HAWKBILL TURTLES AS POSSIBLE THAT FORAGE IN THE HARBOUR AREA.

A TUD GENT DA CAPVERD: MUIT OBRIGADA!

TO EVERYBODY! THANK YOU! YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED!
Update #25 years ago
Hello Everybody! First of all a BIG THANK YOU, to all of you, for signing and spreading this petition.

As Easter holidays closing in, so today, at 1'254 signatures, we have downloaded the list of signatures and handed them in, via e-mail to Dr Sara Maria Duarte Lopes.

The first use of explosives is probably planned for the week after Easter. We therefore keep the petition open til the very last moment! We will send you one more update.

Thank you and please continue spreading the word!
Update #15 years ago
Good morning and a BIG "Thank you" to all of you who took the time to sign this petition.
It's Monday morning, and I'm waiting to hear from my colleagues in Cape Verde, if the blasting has already started. We did not send in your signatures until now, because it was the week-end and all Ministries were closed, giving us more time to increase the number of signatures.
Please share this petition with your friends. As you can see, we keep you updated on what is happening.
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