This week, Chilean president Michelle Bachelet signed into law a measure that outlaws all whale hunting in the Chilean part of the Pacific Ocean. The law prohibits all types of whale hunting; both commercial and scientific.

Whales have not been hunted off the Chilean coast for over three decades, but the government decided that a law was needed to emphasise the Chilean commitment to protect whales in Chilean territorial waters. President Bachelet says the law is “a big step ahead in the protection of nature and a major legacy to future generations.”

Several South- and Central American countries has already banned whale hunting, including Chile’s neighbour Argentina (Green on the map). Chile has a 6,435 km long coast line along the Pacific side of South America’s southernmost part, while Argentina has a 4,665 km long coastline along the corresponding Atlantic side of the continent. As you can see on the map, the new Chilean law has led to the creation of a whale sanctuary around the entire southern tip of South America. (Chile is red on the map)

chile Chile bans whale hunting
Chile = Red, Argentine = Green