by Carla Andrea Fundarotto
The west coast of Tenerife becomes the first European marine area to be recognized as a Whale Heritage Sites (WHS). This was announced by a press release from the Canary Islands Tourism in which it is explained that the stretch of sea between Tenerife and La Gomera is a true sanctuary of these marine species.
A colony of over 500 “tropical cauldron” pilot whales, the largest dolphin in existence, lives permanently along the coast that goes from Faro di Rasca to Punta de Teno, a stretch of sea that stretches for 22 kilometers. Throughout the year, 26 of the more than 79 known cetacean species pass through these areas, including dolphins, killer whales and blue whales.
“This multitude of cetaceans and the exceptional biodiversity of the environment, explains the note, are located just twenty minutes by boat from Tenerife and, thanks to the mild climate of the archipelago, can be admired in all seasons”, is explained in the press release.
The conservation of cetaceans in Tenerife is regulated at the legislative level
In Tenerife, the observation of cetaceans has been legally regulated for twenty years and boats that carry out whale watching services must have a permit issued by the Ministry of the Environment of the Government of the Canary Islands.
The legislation imposes sighting rounds within an area of 500 meters in which only three boats can sail at the same time, which must maintain a minimum distance of 60 meters from the whales.
Why is Tenerife chosen by cetaceans?
The islands of the archipelago are all of volcanic origin, enjoy a mild climate and a short distance from the coast you can reach great depths. This biodiversity of the environment represents the perfect habitat for the presence of a multitude of cetaceans in all seasons. Tenerife, in fact, has two Unesco World Heritage sites: the Teide National Park and the historic center of La Laguna. However, the island also boasts the presence of more than a dozen protected national and natural parks.