Marine Mammals And Marine Turtles Of The Pacific Islands Region
The Pacific Islands Region is a globally significant area that supports a wide range of marine turtles and marine mammals including cetaceans (whales and dolphins) and sirenians (dugongs). The diversity of these marine creatures is recognised as an important element of the Pacific Islands’ culture and heritage. Whaling during the last century resulted in dramatic collapses of most populations of great whales in the region. Cetaceans, dugongs and marine turtles are magnificent creatures that have evolved for 50 million (cetaceans and dugongs) to 100 million (turtles) years. These marine creatures are respected as an important element of Pacific Island people’s culture and heritage and as such a regional agreement has been developed for their conservation under the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). The continued protection and recovery of marine mammal and turtle populations is vital to marine biodiversity in the region.