Protecting dolphins and whales from physical pain and terror is an important issue because the mammals are considered intelligent enough to be deemed "non-human persons" by many scientists and officially, by law, in India (edited to add: arguably, all animals are sentient, intelligent or not). However, there is something collectivist about dolphins being collectively "ours." How much power should a global body have in taking control of wildlife living on independent land and in waters, contained within the borders of individual countries and their territories? If Agenda 21 and the UN's plan to promote sustainability of nature is seen as a "land grab" by many Americans, would the UN's marine life sustainability program be interpreted as a "territorial water grab" elsewhere? If you own property but the contents within no longer belong to you but to "the world," would that be the same as a land grab? Also, since India has granted personhood to dolphins, does that now mean every country must follow suit and adopt their world view? If they do, would that grant the green light for global officials to enforce international law by force?
From Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Germany): Principles of international law - "One primary objective of the international community's environmental and development policy is the protection of the oceans, seas and coastal areas: This includes the protection, rational use and development of their living resources. This is stated in Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 -the action plan of the UN Conference on Environment and Development that was published in June 1992 (Rio Conference).
"Alongside the politically-oriented AGENDA 21, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides the international legal basis for provisions implementing these policy objectives. The Federal Republic of Germany is politically committed to the protection of the oceans and has ratified UNCLOS." Protecting the marine environment