Economy January 30, 2024 | 11:46 am

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Dominican Republic’s Environment Ministry takes journalists on whale watching trip to raise awareness

Samaná, DR.- The Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MMARN) took a group of journalists on a whale watching trip on Saturday in Samaná, a province on the country’s northeast coast. The goal was to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the humpback whales that migrate to the area each winter.

Minister of Environment Miguel Ceara Hatton welcomed the journalists aboard the boat, which departed from the Malecón de Santa Bárbara de Samaná.

“We are in Samaná, we are going to go on a tour to visit the whales,” he said. “It is a unique experience, a cultural experience, an environmental experience, an experience with nature.”

Ceara Hatton emphasized the role of the media in spreading awareness about environmental issues and promoting sustainable development. He also highlighted the economic importance of whale watching to Samaná and the Dominican Republic as a whole.

“We invite everyone to come to Samaná and see this beauty,” he said. “Today we are accompanied by a group of journalists, people of communication, so that they can also spread the word about this beautiful place that is in Samaná.”

The journalists had the opportunity to see several whales up close, including one that was just giving birth. They also learned about the biology and behavior of humpback whales from a guide who is a certified whale watching educator.

Biologist Nelson García Marcano, head of the Biodiversity Directorate at MMARN, explained that 43 boats are registered for whale watching in Samaná. He said the activity generates significant economic activity for the province, including jobs for boat captains, guides, and wildlife inspectors.

Photo: Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MMARN)

García Marcano also noted that the Dominican Republic has a successful program for monitoring humpback whales. The program uses tail markings to identify individual whales, and it has found that about 73% of the whales that visit Samaná each year return the following year.

“The whales are Dominican,” he said. “They are born here and go north to find food, and then they come back to us. This is an important element that we must highlight, and it makes us proud.”

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