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Whales and dolphins now have legal personhood in the Pacific – but one treaty won’t be enough to protect them

By Elliot Doornbos, Senior Lecturer of Criminology, Nottingham Trent University
John Whitehead, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, Nottingham Trent University
Whales and dolphins have been officially recognised as “legal persons” in a new treaty formed by Pacific Indigenous leaders from the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Tonga.

He Whakaputanga Moana, a treaty that translates as the ocean declaration of Māori, promotes the protection and survival of these animals in an holistic way, according to Mere Takoko, vice president of environmental organisation Conservation…The Conversation

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