03/06/08 The Voice of Citizens for the Virgin Sea and Free Dolphins
Animal Friends collected more than 30,000 signatures for the permanent foundation of dolphin reserve
- In little less than two months, more than 30,000 Croatian citizens signed the petition for the permanent foundation of dolphin reserve at Mali Losinj
Aside from already announced legal ban on dolphin captivity, Animal Friends and other associations, supported by Croatian citizens, await from Nature Protection Directorate at the Ministry of Culture to permanently establish a reserve at Mali Losinj, bearing in mind the welfare of the Bottlenosed Dolphin, his habitat, but also caring for the long-term interest and reputation of Croatia.
On Thursday, March 6, in the office of Nature Protection Directorate at the Ministry of Culture, Animal Frirends' representatives will hand 31,224 collected signatures to Mr. Zoran Sikic, the state secretary.
The signing of this petition will continue until the permanent legal ban on dolphin captivity and the dolphin reserve at Mali Losinj are established, which will make Croatia proudly called "Dolphin friendly country."
According to the population research during the last fifteen years, the number of dolphins in the Adriatic Sea has decreased almost 40 per cent. Because of overfishing and mass extermination one dolphin species in the Adriatic – Common Dolphin – is already extinct.
Losinj reserve is at the moment the first dolphin reserve in the Mediterranean. Because of international reputation and the fact that ever more tourists visit our country because of the beauty of the nature and Croatian heritage, establishing a permanent dolphin reserve is of a long-term interest for Croatia. Free and protected dolphins and "Croatia – dolphin friendly country" are a tourist product which only rare a country can be proud of.
The dolphin population, and the whole whale species to which dolphins also belong, is drastically endangered all over the world. This is why the United Nations, which proclaimed 2007 as the Year of the Dolphin, extended the activities for the salvation of Cetaceans to the year 2008 as well. Croatia has a big international support for the establishing of this reserve.
The biggest threats to the survival of dolphins are sea pollution, noise and disturbance, lack of food due to overfishing, but also dolphin hunt itself. Croatian citizens demand the permanent foundation of the dolphin reserve, which would mean better protection of this endangered species and its habitat.