Uruguay’s national legislature has voted to establish a protected sanctuary for migrating right whales and other cetaceans. The final approval of the bill came via a unanimous (62–0) vote in the Chamber of Representatives on September 3.
Southern Atlantic right whales feed in the Southern Ocean during the austral summer. During the winter months, a segment of the population migrates north along South America’s eastern coast to raise calves. In recent years, various development schemes—some involving mineral mining and offshore oil and gas production—have threatened the Uruguayan coast and coastal waters.