CBS’ 60 Minutes features sperm whales of Dominica

One of the US’ oldest and most-watched newsmagazines on television, CBS 60 Minutes has featured sperm whales of Dominica and efforts to create a safe sanctuary in the island’s waters for them.

The segment, entitled “The Sperm Whales of Dominica” was aired on Sunday with new correspondent, Cecilia Vega, and her crew documenting the massive creatures just off the coast of the island.

She did this with assistance from National Geographic Explorer Enric Sala, who is presently working with the government to create a sanctuary to keep the whales safe.

“The sperm whale population has been declining steadily for the last 20 years because of human threats that affect the whales not only here, in Dominica, but all around the world,” Sala said to Vega, according to CBS. Vega described her experience to 60 Minutes Overtime on how she felt when she encountered the whales. “Once you see that whale, it’s a little like SEAL Team Six,” she said. “You’re jumping off the back of a moving boat. 8,000-feet-deep water. And you’re swimming up. And then suddenly, she’s right there. And she is making eye contact with us.”

She stated that the experience was “otherworldly.”

“It was both the most terrifying professional experience I think I’ve had, and probably the most gratifying and rewarding one,” Vega said, according to 60 Minutes Overtime.

According to the show, in Dominica scientists estimate the sperm whale population declines by 3% each year and Sala thinks they need to be protected from their greatest threats such as plastic trash, ocean noise pollution, and ship strikes.

“If nothing is done, the population will continue to decline,” he said during the segment. “So reducing those threats, hopefully, will allow the whale population to rebound and the more whales there are, the more benefits Dominica and the local communities will obtain.”

Sala said that if nothing is done, the population of the whales will continue to decline.

Vega also conducted an interview with Francine Baron, head of the Climate Resilience Execution Agency for Dominica (CREAD), which was tasked to lead Dominica’s recovery after Hurricane Maria.

According to Baron, Dominica sees whale-watching as an important part of its tourism product, and it’s something that needs to be protected.
“And the idea of creating greater protection for the whales is something that Dominica is very open to. And we were very pleased with the suggestion that Enric made to creating a recognized sanctuary for the whales,” she said.

Sala described being in the water with the whales as “magical.”

‘”Being in the water with sperm whales is a magical experience, there’s something spiritual there, this is more than science and data,” he said. “The sense of awe and wonder that is unavoidable when you are in the water with these gentle giants.”

See the full segment of the show below:

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  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    May 18, 2023

    Each time a stupid person speak it expoes how foolish they are.

    Again any idiot can buy a telephone theses days and use it to write crap saying nothing!
    If Roosevelt Skerrit that damn corrupted crook is not selling passports, where else is he getting revenue from to run Dominica?
    You are such an idiot, it is impossible for you to understand that Roosevelt is in the business of selling out Dominica to forigneres.

    Nobody knows how many passports that corupted thie. and his appointed thieves has sold.

    One thing is certain you that Skerrit lap dog, you fly, fake no name if Roosevelt claim that his airport costing more than a billion dollars to will be finance from the sale of passports, how many passports he has sold to raise that amount of money?

    If you divide $1,000,000,000.00/ price of one passport the answer will be how many foreigners bought a Dominica passport.
    Simple arithmetic, advance mathematics not needed to prove that!
    Fools always defend thieves!

    May 18, 2023

    Very good programme. Whale watching can translate into much financial benefit for tourism. Dominica should embrace the concept of the whale sanctuary whole heartedly.

  3. james
    May 16, 2023

    Didn’t this same labor government under Rosie Douglas support Japan’s efforts at the IWC to kill more whales back in 2000 causing then tourism Minister Athie Martin to resign…???

    • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
      May 19, 2023

      How is that going to happen?

      If you watched 60 minuets, you probably saw a hole day went by before they saw a whale, and when there was no excitement when a couple was seen.
      If you are thinking that people in North America will travel to Dominica for that purpose, I doubt they will leave what is in their backyard, in Encinada California, and off the coast of Alaska to go to Dominica; there are less in Dominica, than are found elsewhere.

      Now if you keenly watched the program you may have heard that the
      Wales in that location travels all the way to Norway, and return to Dominica only to have young ones, so it is not as if there are in Dominica year-round

      • Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
        May 19, 2023

        “it is not as if there are in Dominica year-round”
        It is not as if they re there year-round!

  4. Lin clown
    May 16, 2023

    That is much better than the blue house ni….. who went on CBS and told the world Skerrit was selling passports like hot bread.It’s a good thing the world never believed the Jacka.Every smart person know Skerrit cannot sell passports.Every Dominican passport must be paid for at the treasury and issued by the immigration department.Anybody who believe otherwise is a Jacka.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 6

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