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Dolphins in Lisbon river show benefits of protecting nature

A dolphin pod swims at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holdin...
Tourists watch a dolphin calf swim near their boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nation...
Dolphins swim at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding its five-day Oceans Conf...
Marine biologist Ines, background left, gives a briefing to tourists before taking them out in a boat to watch dolphins in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 20...
Marine biologist Catarina Pereira catches plastic floating on the Tagus River during a boat trip to watch dolphins at the mouth of the Tagus river in ...
A dolphin swims at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding it...
Dolphins and whales are painted on the base of a pillar of the April 25th Bridge in the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Dolphins are oft...
A dolphin and its calf swim near a boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holdin...
Tourists watch dolphins swim near their boat at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the...
A dolphin calf swims near a boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding its f...
Tourists return to port after watching dolphins swimming at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United ...

A dolphin pod swims at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holdin...

Tourists watch a dolphin calf swim near their boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nation...

Dolphins swim at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding its five-day Oceans Conf...

Marine biologist Ines, background left, gives a briefing to tourists before taking them out in a boat to watch dolphins in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 20...

Marine biologist Catarina Pereira catches plastic floating on the Tagus River during a boat trip to watch dolphins at the mouth of the Tagus river in ...

A dolphin swims at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding it...

Dolphins and whales are painted on the base of a pillar of the April 25th Bridge in the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Dolphins are oft...

A dolphin and its calf swim near a boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holdin...

Tourists watch dolphins swim near their boat at the mouth of the Tagus River with Lisbon in the background, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the...

A dolphin calf swims near a boat at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United Nations is holding its f...

Tourists return to port after watching dolphins swimming at the mouth of the Tagus River in Lisbon, Friday, June 24, 2022. Starting Monday the United ...

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Delegates attending a U.N. conference in Lisbon next week might take inspiration for their efforts to protect the oceans by looking out of the venue’s windows at Portugal’s longest river, where frolicking dolphins nowadays delight locals and tourists.

The number of dolphins swimming from the Atlantic into the mouth of the River Tagus at Lisbon has increased significantly in recent times as pollution has dropped.

“In the past 10 years, with the water improvement, we started seeing wildlife much more frequently,” says local sailor and guide Bernardo Queiroz, who organizes trips to see bottlenose and common dolphins in the river.

“We used to see (the dolphins) 10 times a year and now we have (them) 200 days a year,” he says.

Queiroz’s tour business aims to create awareness about the importance and the benefits of nature preservation.

Senior officials and scientists from more than 120 countries are due to attend the five-day U.N. Ocean Conference in Lisbon starting Monday.

The United Nations is hoping that a conference starting Monday will bring fresh momentum for protracted efforts to find an international agreement on protecting the world’s oceans.

No comprehensive legal framework covers the high seas. Oceans cover some 70% of the earth’s surface and provide food and livelihoods for billions of people. Some activists refer to them as the largest unregulated area on the planet.

The oceans face a “severe” threat from global warming, pollution, acidification and other problems, the U.N. says.

The conference is set to adopt a declaration that, although not binding on its signatories, could help implement and facilitate the protection and conservation of oceans and their resources, according to the U.N. The declaration is due to be endorsed on Friday.

But still beyond reach is a vital new international agreement on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, also known as the Treaty of the High Seas.