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The Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) and allies acknowledge the encouraging strides that the Government of Ghana has made over the years to promote conservation of marine biodiversity and sustainable coastal management by formulating policies and enacting supporting legislation. Efforts by the Government to address over-fishing and illegal fishing, and its commitments to prevent marine pollution in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and promotion of marine tourism are dully acknowledged.

The global fight for conservation of whales, dolphins and other cetaceans has often happened at long international meetings, where scientific information is usually presented to inform conservation decisions. The most significant events in the whale conservation calendar are the biennial meetings of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the sole body that provides for the conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the whaling industry. The IWC is also involved in the conservation work of other cetaceans. The IWC comprises delegates from 88 countries that includes Ghana. In the coming few days, Ghana’s delegation will join the rest of the IWC countries between 4th and 14th September 2018. The decision by our government delegation will in the long term affect the state of marine life in the Gulf of Guinea which is touted to be an important migration and calving habitat for marine mammals .

This position paper outlines justifications for the Ghana Government to vote in favour of establishing the South Atlantic Whale Sanctuary (SAWS) and uphold the moratorium on whale killing.