Announcing the establishment of the Sperm Whale Sanctuary, Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said the location would receive 200 sperm whales, considered Dominica’s beloved “citizens”.
Emphasizing that Dominica is honored to establish the world’s first sperm whale sanctuary, Prime Minister Skerrit said that the establishment of the sanctuary will not only boost tourism revenues but also help sequester sperm whales and sequester carbon in the deep sea. It will also contribute in capturing. This is also an often overlooked benefit of whale conservation.
Francine Barron, executive director of Dominica’s Climate Resilience Enforcement Agency, said the boundaries of the reserve will be determined based on a study of areas that can ensure food and shelter. Home to about 50 families of sperm whales.
In the immediate future, vessels 18 meters or more in length will not be allowed to pass through the conservation area, while small, manual fishing activities are still permitted.
Additionally, authorities are also considering opening a corridor to allow ships to dock in Roseau, Dominica’s capital and largest city.
Conservation of sperm whales also provides climate benefits through their waste. Accordingly, sperm whales dive to hunt squid, then swim to the surface to breathe, rest, and defecate. Their waste stimulates the growth of plankton, which can capture CO2 From sea water. When plankton die, it becomes a carbon “sink”, helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Let’s say there are 250 whales in Dominican waters, their waste helps capture 4,200 tons of carbon every year, said Mr. Enrique Sala, founder of the non-profit organization Pristine Seas and currently consulting for the Dominican government. Equivalent to stopping 5,000 cars from roaming on the road.