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Abidjan - A dead whale was washed ashore on the night of Saturday 07 to Sunday 08 April 2018 on Aného beach located at 50 km from Lomé (Togo). The cetacean, 8.30 metres tall and 3.10 metres wide was discovered by the surrounding populations on Sunday morning.


Photo: Abidjan Convention Secretariat

Instead of assisting the whale, the communities rather decapitated the cetacean for consumption. This is a risky behaviour as the causes of the death are unknown and the competent services did not determine whether or not the whale was fit for consumption.  The Abidjan Convention warns the populations not to eat shored whales. Whales are particularly vulnerable to environmental contaminants which are dangerous for human health. André Johnson, Minister of Environment and Forest Resources in Togo visited the site. He condemned the behaviour of the communities of Aného and recalled that whales are protected species at the international level. Whales are considered endangered species (for some subspecies) and therefore are subject to special attention. They are often victims of boat accidents, motorized boats and/or other floating machines. Ocean pollution also poses a direct threat to the survival of these species. Several nongovernmental organizations at national level actively work for the protection of whales and other endangered marine animals featured in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.