U.S., Bermuda in whale protection pact

Aug. 2, 2011 at 5:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration says it is partnering with the government of Bermuda to protect humpback whales in the North Atlantic.

NOAA and Bermuda will collaborate on research and monitoring programs that could lead to better protection of the species along its migratory route from the Gulf of Maine to the Caribbean Sea, a NOAA release said.

Bermuda is strategically situated between the humpbacks' southern calving and breeding grounds and their northern feeding grounds.

NOAA's Stellwagen Bank sanctuary off the Massachusetts coast, a sister sanctuary in the Dominican Republic, and Bermuda have formed a partnership to enhance protection of the species at various points along its migratory route, the NOAA release said.

"Humpback whales are international citizens without passports who recognize no political jurisdictions," Craig MacDonald, Stellwagen Bank's superintendent, said. "We share whales with other nations that border their migratory route, just as we share the responsibility for protecting these fascinating animals."

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