30 Jul 2009

Pitcairn Island signs MOU to protect whales and dolphins

11:10 am on 30 July 2009

The Commissioner for Pitcairn Island says it's joined other Pacific nations by signing a memorandum of understanding which protects whales and dolphins in its region.

Leslie Jaques says the significance of today's signing will mean whales and dolphin have a greater protection in waters of the South Pacific territory.

Mr Jaques says he's unsure if the Memorandum of Understanding will greatly reduce whaling but he says he thinks whalers will at least know Pitcairn Island have joined with other nations to protect these species.

"Well I don't know if it will help us significantly because we don't have the capacity to stop people whaling, but people will know that we are signed up to the treaty, people will (also) know that our neighbours are signed up to the treaty. And we are certainly looking at whales as an important sort of tourist opportunity because they come both the Humpbacks and the pilots come in July and August and we understand that the Humpback whales breed around Pitcairn."

Leslie Jaques, the Commissioner for Pitcairn Island.