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Planning the next phase: Conservation Management Plan
for southern right whales in western South Atlantic

In March, the coastal city of Santos, Brazil, will host the next assessment of the Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for southern right whales in the western South Atlantic.

This CMP was established in 2012. It is reviewed at regular intervals by scientists, policy makers and other stakeholders from the range states: Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.  The overall goal of the CMP is to protect habitat, minimise threats and maximise recovery of southern right whales in this region, whose numbers were dramatically depleted, first by commercial whaling and then illegal hunting.

Southern right whales in the western South Atlantic face a range of threats including entanglement in fishing gear and toxin-producing algal blooms in the water. Another key concern is widespread calf mortality. 91% of deaths since 1971 are estimated to be calves less than one year old and studies are ongoing to understand the impact of interactions with kelp gulls, which attack the vulnerable calves, feeding on their skin and blubber. 

The CMP sets out a series of priority actions and the next workshop will assess progress against each of these. The actions range from satellite tagging in order to learn more about migration routes and behaviour, to capacity building training in entanglement and stranding response.

The workshop will run from 4-5 March and report to the Scientific Committee of the IWC at its next meeting.

Read more about the CMP for western South Atlantic right whales.

Read the most recent update in the
2022 workshop report.