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World & Nation

Spain creates Mediterranean Sea reserve for whale migration, bans fossil fuel search

Whales

A sperm whale calf swims next to its mother and a pod of sperm whales, about four miles off the coast of the Agat Marina in Guam in 2001.

(Chris Bangs / Guam Variety News)

Spain is creating a marine wildlife reserve for the migrations of whales and dolphins in the Mediterranean Sea and will prohibit searching for fossil fuels in the area.

The Spanish government announced Friday that the protected reserve will cover 17,909 square miles between the Balearic Islands and the mainland. It says the area “is of great ecological value and represents a migration path of vital importance for cetaceans in the Western Mediterranean.”

Teresa Ribera, Spain’s minister for ecological transition, says “this is the end of new prospecting or any type of extraction of fossil fuels” in the protected area.

The species Spain hopes to protect are Fin whales, sperm whales, grey sperm whales, pilot whales, Cuvier’s beaked whales, bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, common dolphins and loggerhead turtles.

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