An injured calf of Humpback Whale was spotted on February 3rd, 2007 in company of its mother in the waters of the Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Injury caused without doubt by propellers of a 2 engine vessel are clearly visible in the photos and video clip. The severity of the injuries could result in the calf's death. An immediate response on the part of the local research and conservation groups was published in local and national media. Although this particular event could have been an accident rather than negligence, the researchers rightfully blame the authorities for the lack of whale-watching law (NOM-131-SEMRNAT-1998) enforcement and for issuing a far to large number of whale-watching permits resulting in an intense harassment of the whales disrupting their reproductive activities and threatening their physical integrity. Reportedly, less and less whales come and stay during the months of their annual migration to the Banderas Bay. This not only has a negative bearing on the reproductive success of the humpback population, but also means a serious issue for the thriving whale-watching business.
Although these facts have been communicated to the local authorities on multiple occasions during the recent years, the situation has been steadily deteriorating as a result of the authorities' lack of resolve and action.
This unfortunate event is not the first and probably not the last tragedy the local waters have witnessed. Immediate and resolute actions need to be taken to ensure Banderas Bay remains safe breeding and mating ground for the Eastern North Pacific Humpback population.
Resident, visitor or simply one, who cares,
help by signing the following petition:
(the signatures will be delivered to the representatives of the Environment Protection Agency (PROFEPA), Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT) and Mayors of Puerto Vallarta and Bahia de Banderas)
"I am very concerned about the dangers the Eastern North Pacific Humpback population has been facing on their mating and breeding grounds in the waters of Banderas Bay, Mexico.
I call on you to demonstrate good resource stewardship by":
1. Establishing effective on-site law-enforcement program of the Whale-Watching Law (NOM-131-SEMRNAT-1998).
Persecuting illegal whale-watching vessels.
3. Revising the number of issued whale-watching permits.