Cook Islands bans commercial fishing to protect whales

By April 5, 2017 No Comments

humpback-whaleThe Cook Islands has placed a ban on commercial fishing within 50 nautical miles of the nation to reduce the interaction between commercial fishing and humpback whales. In 2001 the Cook Islands  declared its entire Exclusive Economic Zone a Marine Park – an area of almost 2 million square kilometres and Minister of Environment, Hon Kiriau Tureput recently stated that the Cook Islands has demonstrated once again its innovation and leadership by making the waters of the Cooks Islands a true marine life sanctuary by putting this ban in place.

Humpback whales visiting the Cook Islands have a unique trait that is extremely unusual, research shows only two of the whales in the last seven years have returned to the Cook Islands and the rest are new visitors. Humpback whales tend to return to the same area during their lifetime and  less interaction from  fishing vessels will now make it a safer passage to these Islands for the whales before they head to Tonga for the breeding season between June to October each year.

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