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Entanglement Response Training -
Chile’s critically endangered Southern Right Whales

The latest entanglement response workshop has concluded successfully in Viña del Mar, Chile.  The Chilean coast is an important habitat for a critically endangered population of southern right whale. They now number just 50 mature animals and entanglement response is seen as an important capacity by the Chilean government who requested the training as part of a Conservation Management Plan.

Led by the IWC in partnership with the Center for Coastal Studies, Provincetown, the Global Entanglement Response Network is a programme to build international capacity to respond effectively to entangled whales. This workshop took a major step forward as the first one to include a Spanish-speaking trainer. Ricardo Rebollero was one of two native Spanish speakers to complete a ‘Train the Trainer’ apprenticeship with the IWC and CCS last Summer. In Viña del Mar, Ricardo worked with David Mattila who heads the capacity building programme, and received high praise from both David and the Chilean trainees.

The two-day workshop was initiated by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and organized by the Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) and Centro de Conservacion Cetacea (CCC), with support from the Directorate of Maritime Territory and Marine Merchant, the Navy, the IWC (through a voluntary contribution by the USA), and the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), World Animal Protection (WAP) and Bote Salvavidas.  

In addition to the two day entanglement response training, the Chilean Fisheries Service (SERNAPESCA) took the opportunity to hold Chile’s first National Symposium on the Scientific Investigation of the Great Whales of Chile, with some support from the World Wildlife Fund in Chile. As an invited participant, the IWC presented some new research techniques and findings, as well as an overview of the impact of entanglement globally.

For photographs of the Chile training, and other entanglement workshops, click here