Samaná’s humpback whale watching season
Santo Domingo.- Regarding the commencement of the humpback whale watching season, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Miguel Ceara Hatton, led the signing ceremony of the agreement in which public and private institutions, along with academic and civil society organizations, are all unified in their commitment to safeguarding the humpback whales that annually grace the shores of Samaná for mating and birthing.
Reflecting on the significance of the event, Ceara Hatton remarked, “I consider it one of the truly beautiful experiences within this ministry.”
Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, the Dominican Republic Navy, Santa Bárbara De Samaná City Council, the Center for the Conservation and Ecodevelopment of the Bay of Samaná and its Environment (Cebse), the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies (Fundemar), the Samaná Bay Boat Owners Association (Asdubahisa), and the Environmental Consulting and Maritime Technology company (Atemar) were among those who signed the agreement.
The signing, attended by Vice Minister of Protected Areas and Biodiversity, Federico Franco, officially inaugurates the 2024 Marine Mammal Observation Season. Themed “Samaná, cradle of whales,” the season unfolds in the Marine Mammal Sanctuary of La Plata and La Navidad Banks, and Samaná Bay.
Ceara Hatton joined Rear Admiral Segundo Ventura García, Deputy Commander General of the Dominican Republic Navy, Nelson Antonio Núñez, mayor of the municipal council of Samaná, Felícita Heredia from the Dominican Foundation for Marine Studies, Patricia Lamelas from Cebse, Augusto Antonio González from the Samaná Bay Boat Owners Association, Keuris Ambiorix Félix de León, mayor of the Elupina Cordero municipal district of Las Cañitas, Lorenzo Antonio Martínez, representative of ship operators, and Oswaldo Emigdio Vásquez, environmental and maritime technology advisor in signing the agreement.
These institutions have pledged to ensure the safety of human life and uphold the conservation and protection of the sanctuary and marine mammals. A total of 4,229 sightings were recorded in the period 2018-2023, including 138 whale calves.
The ministry takes on the responsibility of granting environmental authorizations for Marine Mammal Observation, encompassing activities such as filming, photography, swimming, and diving for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.