Whales Get a Really, Really, Really Big Sanctuary
France, Italy, and Monaco on Thursday created the first whale sanctuary north of the equator, an area in the Mediterranean Sea twice the size of Switzerland. Thirteen cetacean species live in the area for some portion of the year, including fin, pilot, and sperm whales and four dolphin species. The three nations signed a treaty that calls for more action to combat pollution and better coordination of research on cetacean species. The World Wildlife Fund and other green groups, which have pushed for a sanctuary for ten years, welcomed the news, but cautioned that more action is needed to protect marine mammals, including limits on fishing and tourist activities.