synthese-news-20141106-1A recent report published by Claire Pusineri, Scientific Director of the Association of Ocean Science and Logistics (OSL) revealed that “there is an abundant and diversified community of cetaceans for a tropical area that characterizes the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of French Guiana.”

“Cetaceans are one of the most distinctive and highly specialized orders of mammals include the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale; the highly intelligent and communicative dolphins; the tusked narwhals and blind river dolphins and singing humpback whales.”

However, the species are threatened by several human activities, such as catches in fishing nets, coastal water quality degradation, and the development of oil activities since the early 2000s. In the past ten years, five (5) seismic campaigns and five (5) exploratory drillings have been implemented in the EEZ.

According to the report France has committed itself to marine mammal conservation in the region through the Cartagena Convention, and more specifically through its specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol. In addition, most of marine mammals known to occur in French Guiana are classified in the IUCN Red List. This means that all the species are protected at the national level. However, only few conservation actions have been implemented.

It is against this backdrop that an impact assessment was conducted. The report provides guidelines to improve cetacean conservation in French Guiana, within the context of oil activities development. Click here to download the full report: icon Synthese Biblio Cetaces Petrole Guyane VF2 (2.38 MB)

Important to note is that a major accidental oil spill would have major impacts not only on cetaceans but also on the entire ecosystem. This therefore warrants specific work. The GSF commends this report to authorities and scientists within the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem. For further information, please contact Mr. Arnaud ANSELIN, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., DEAL Guyane in French Guiana.