Dolphins in Lisbon river show benefits of protecting nature

Category : Science/Environment

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. frolicking / ˈfrɒl ɪk ɪŋ / (adj.) – acting in a playful or happy way

    I was surprised to see frolicking dogs in the animal shelter. I thought animals there are sad.

  2. protracted / proʊˈtræk tɪd / (adj.) – lasting longer than necessary or expected

    The uncontrollable spread of the virus led to a protracted lockdown.

  3. framework / ˈfreɪmˌwɜrk / (n.) – a system of rules, ideas, or beliefs that are used to make decisions or solve problems

    We need IT experts who can help us strengthen our security framework.

  4. livelihood / ˈlaɪv liˌhʊd / (n.) – the way in which a person earns money to be able to pay for food, housing, clothing, etc.

    The long dry season is putting the farmers’ livelihood in danger.

  5. signatory / ˈsɪg nəˌtɔr i / (n.) – a person, organization, or country that has signed an official agreement or document

    Ken’s promotion was delayed because one of the signatories was out of the country.


Read the text below.

Delegates attending a U.N. conference in Lisbon 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 June 27.

The United Nations is hoping that the conference 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 July 1.

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

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • One of the main reasons why the U.N. is advocating for clean oceans is because the oceans provide food and livelihoods to billions of people. Do you think ordinary people can do something to protect the oceans? Discuss. 
  • An article reported that tourism is one of the reasons why dolphins and other sea animals are in danger. In your opinion, should recreational activities (ex. boating, diving, wildlife viewing) in the ocean be limited? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Queiroz organizes trips to see bottlenose and common dolphins in the river. He aims to create awareness about the importance and the benefits of nature preservation. Do you think his business is really helpful, or does it bring more harm than good? Why? Discuss.
  • If you had a tourism business similar to Queiroz’s, what would you do to help with nature preservation? Discuss.
Category : Science/Environment