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Marine Animals Granted Personhood

Pacific tribal leaders in Polynesia, New Zealand, Tonga, and the Cook Islands signed the He Whakaputanga Moana declaration, which grants whales and dolphins legal personhood. The historic international declaration protects whales and dolphins in the Pacific so that their populations can migrate freely and grow. He Whakaputanga Moana also calls for the creation of a dedicated marine conservation fund and the establishment of protected marine areas in the Pacific. Although it’s unclear yet what consequences will come with prosecuting this law, there is now no legal difference between harming a whale or dolphin and harming a person. The ruling is a unique method in advocating for ocean conservation and raises awareness about the importance of protecting marine life as if it’s human life. 

Image via PMN


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