Speaking before the Chilean Congress on Wednesday, President Michelle Bachelet announced plans to ban all whaling activity in Chilean waters. President Bachelet will try to have the new law in place before the International Whaling Commission meets in Santiago next month. According to the Environmental New Service, Centro de Conservación Cetacea, Centro Ecoceanos, and the National Confederation of Artisan Fishers (CONAPACH) were the loudest advocates for this measure, but Oceana participated too. Alex Munoz, Oceana's VP for South American Oceans and Antarctica, says, "This is a victory for the Chilean environmental movement as a whole, which in a collective effort advocated for the creation of a whale sanctuary in all Chilean waters. We hope this is a first step toward a broader marine conservation agenda that is so necessary in Chile and South America." While the marine conservation agenda that Alex refers to is broad in scope, one specific project that our office in Santiago is heading aims to create Marine Protected Areas in Chilean Patagonia. Like the whale ruling, Oceana is working with artisinal fisherman and other NGO's in order to reach our goals in Patagonia. To aid Oceana's efforts in Chile, you may want to help us reach "$20K in May." We've set a goal to raise $20,000 this month to support our work in Patagonia and there's only a little over a week to hit the target. Please click here to contribute.
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