Legal Rights for Uruguay’s Sanctuary for Whales and Dolphins


Organización para la Conservación de Cetaceos (OCC) and Earth Law Center (ELC) are partnering to establish legal rights for the Whale and Dolphin Sanctuary in Uruguay’s territorial waters.

Sign the petition today!

The Sanctuary was established in 2013[1] and a management plan has not yet been created. It faces increasing threats from shipping traffic, pollution and non-sustainable fisheries. Legal Rights in practice means new and higher standards; criteria for decision making to guide implementation of the Sanctuary; Read our FAQ in English and Spanish.

UPDATE: The Sanctuary was declared a ‘Hope Spot’ by Mission Blue and the Sylvia Earle Alliance, in recognition of its value as a safe haven for cetaceans, and importance to biodiversity and ocean health internationally.

To learn more, support our efforts, or partner with us, email Rodrigo García Píngaro at or Ocean Rights Manager Michelle Bender at and Visit or

Banner Photo by Rodrigo Garcia Pingaro


About OCC:

OCC (Organisation for the Conservation of Cetaceans) is a small non-government organisation in Uruguay, South America, which focuses on marine conservation. In the last decade, OCC-Uruguay has identified the major threats to marine conservation along Uruguay’s Atlantic coast, and worked hard to establish both the legislative foundations, inter-institutional and public support necessary for change. Achievements include: promote a Decree for responsible whale watching (261/02) and a volunteer whale watching network to alert national coastguard officials where whales are threatened or stressed (avoiding ship-strikes); promote the installation of viewing platforms along the coast; establishing protocols of good practice marine and certification (together Ministries and National Marine).

Visit OCC's website to learn more of their great work!