News reaches us that the Ministry of Infrastructure and Maritime Economy plans to detonate explosive underwater in the region of Sal Rei during April, May, June, July & August. This is to complete works to improve the harbour which is already two year behind schedule.
Unfortunately these months are highly sensitive since there are breeding humpbacks in the area as well as nesting turtles for the last three months of the planned activities.
The waters around Boa Vista, including areas close to the blast site comprise the single most important breeding location known to a small and threatened population of humpback whales. In the opinion of many expert scientists, this blasting is likely to cause injury and possibly death to the adults and calves.
In addition, this blasting is likely to affect loggerhead turtles which will be mating in the sea at this time and will come ashore from June onwards to lay their eggs.
The area is also close to popular dive sites.
The income derived from the ecotourism that has been developed around both of these animals and the diving may also suffer.
The scientists, who include Conor Ryan, who has just published a paper entitled “Breeding habitat of poorly studied humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in Boa Vista, Cape Verde”, (attached below) have written to the Ministry to express their concern.
The Caboverdean government is a signatory of the Convention of Migratory Species which is designed to protect these animals.