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Third orca death in 18 months at theme park

Loro Parque tourist attraction in Tenerife, Spain has announced the death of Kohana, a 20-year-old...

WDC’s Shorewatch work shortlisted for nature award

We are thrilled that our Shorewatch programme has been shortlisted in the Citizen Science category...
Image from one of the WDC Risso's dolphin research catalogues

Local community helps piece together Risso’s dolphin puzzle

Thousands of photographs from members of the public have been published today in two WDC...

Tesco joins new initiative to help protect whales and dolphins

Tesco, the UK's largest retailer has joined WDC, Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), and the Royal Society...

WDC endorses new whale watch guidelines for Northern Norway

WDC is delighted to endorse a new set of guidelines for whale watching in Troms, Northern Norway, developed in response to many requests from both coastal communities and operators after a rapid increase in boat numbers, and in-water activities. A summary of the guidelines can also be downloaded.

Ideally, whale watching activities are regulated by law, but in the absence of direct government regulation for this region, guidelines such as these have an important role to play. 

 “The guidelines are by no means meant to thwart whale-related commercial activities. Rather, they represent best practice for the sustainability of an industry that is dependent on minimizing disturbance of a natural system”, commented Mario Acquarone,  Chair of Council of the European Cetacean Society, and Researcher at the Department of Arctic and Marine Biology at the Arctic University of Norway, who co-authored the guidelines.

Russell Baker, an explorer and passionate observer of whale behaviour who co-authored the guidelines, commented: “The co-existence of humpbacks, fin whales and orcas in feeding situations is distinct from behaviour seen in other locations. The guidelines reflect this”

Baker is pleased that this initiative is very much supported by local coastal communities. He lived for some time within these communities and also spent around 700 hours alone at sea over recent winters observing marine wildlife – especially the whales.  “Visit Tromsø asked for our assistance as they are determined to play a respectful role in the developing local whale watch industry. They organized educational seminars and connected us with some operators.”

About Vanessa Williams-Grey

Policy manager - Stop Whaling and Responsible Whale Watching