Bonn, 7 August 2008 – Following their crossing at
Peniche, Portugal in June, YoD Ambassadors and open water
swimmers Miguel Arrobas and Nuno Vicente of Portugal are
now up to another spectacular feat.
Miguel Arrobas successfully completed his mission on the
7th of August in 9 and 1/2 hours being the first of the
two Portuguese to cross the Channel with a distance of
34 km. Nuno Vicente succeeded on 15th of August. At a
trial swim on August 4th a small group of Bottlenose dolphins
paid a visit and upon Miguel Arrobas' arrival in France,
he was greeted by Harbour porpoises.
They make use of this event’s publicity to support
the Year of the Dolphin and raise awareness for the plight
dolphins are facing globally, as a result of human activities
and unsustainable exploitation of the seas.
English Channel, one of the most heavily travelled shipping
routes of the world, makes the problems dolphins face
very palpable. Pollution is still a major issue (though
action has been taken by bordering countries to improve
standards), with the habitat in the English Channel being
The noise pollution whales and dolphins face in this
part of the ocean resembles that of living right next
to a heavily travelled motorway, and strandings of dolphins
and whales are often interpreted as signs of disorientation
or fear caused by loud noises. Ship strikes that kill
whales are a further problem.
CMS, through its ASCOBANS agreement, works for the reduction
of noise pollution in this part of the ocean. CMS also
supports measures aimed at reducing by-catch, ship strikes,
pollution and noise pollution, among others (see CMS Resolution
8.22 and 8.14).
Several species of dolphins, whales and porpoises inhabit
the waters of the English Channel. Quite frequently encountered
species are the Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus),
Risso’s dolphin (Grampus griseus), and
Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis).
Less often seen species are e.g. the Harbour porpoise
(Phocoena phocoena), Pygmy sperm whale (Kogia
breviceps), Long-finned pilot whale (Globicephala
melas), White-beaked dolphin (Lagenorhynchus
albirostris), the Orca (Orcinus orca) and
others. Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
and Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus)
may occasionally enter the channel too. Many of these
species are also covered by the CMS ASCOBANS agreement.
Other species occasionally occurring in these waters are
the False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens),
the Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba),
the Sowerby’s beaked whale (Mesoplodon bidens)
and the Cuvier’s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris).
Resolution 8.14 on Bycatch
Resolution 8.22 on Adverse Uman Impacts on Cetaceans