Cetacean Society International

Whales Alive! - Vol. XIII No. 2 - April 2004


News From Brazil


Following are excerpts of a letter to Robbins and Meg Barstow from José Truda Palazzo, Jr., a long-time friend and whale conservation colleague in Brazil.

Dear Robbins & Meg,

Greetings from the office of the National Right Whale Conservation Center in Itapirubá Beach, Santa Catarina, at the heart of the Right Whale National Environmental Protection Area - quite a progress since we first met in 1984!!

Over the last year, the continuation of the sponsorship of PETROBRAS, our state-owned oil company, and International Wildlife Coalition/US through the extrardinary efforts of Dan Morast, we were able to complete our research and education center . . . and the reconstruction of the last whaling station in Southern Brazil, at Imbituba, where we opened the Whale Museum (the white building in the picture). Also, CSI has contributed to the Museum thanks to Bill Rossiter.

Photo courtesy José Truda Palazzo, Jr.
Photo courtesy José Truda Palazzo, Jr.

Right whales are now highly regarded by local people as their natural treasure, whale watching is picking up and Brazil is firmly participating in the Whaling Commission pushing for Whales Alive and non-consumptive sustainable use of whale resources. Incidentally, I am serving as Head of Scientific Delegation and Alternate Commissioner for Brazil at the IWC - and having so much fun in doing it!

The National Right Whale Week was celebrated in its 7th year last September in Imbituba, the National Whale Capital of Brazil, and it has grown so much that in 2004 we'll organize a Whale Month in Santa Catarina State, with whale-related events (music, dances, school contests, lectures, sports, etc.) in some eight townships along the coast. I am in the picture floating around a right whale diving in the background . . .

Photo courtesy José Truda Palazzo, Jr.
Photo courtesy José Truda Palazzo, Jr.

You would be astonished to see how much we're being able to accomplish in South America because of your pioneer work to promote the non-consumptive use of whales. Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, all are officially promoting the 'appropriation of whale resources' through non-lethal means. We are working both on a South American network of whale conservation groups, . . . and in organizing an international network of marine protected area managers where whales occur . . .

I hope you two will look at these pictures and see how much your loving guidance and wisdom has contributed to build all that we continue to accomplish daily around here, and to remember we think of you all the time while doing our little part in the global mission we share . . .

José, Maria, Julia & Lara


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