The International Whaling Commission (IWC) have launched a handbook designed to support operators, regulators and tourists.
The new tool, which has been produced in partnership with the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) includes an array of practical tips and impartial, free advice for would-be whale watchers and operators of whale watching businesses.
Some of the features include extensive information on a selection of species, an interactive map that enables users to access whale watching information from 25 individual countries, and the platform is intended to be an evolving platform sharing the latest research and best practice.
The whale watching industry is estimated globally to be worth $2.1 billion, with over 13 million people taking part each year. The impact of whale watching on different populations of whales and dolphins needs to be carefully managed as the sector grows, and the handbook includes advice on management, as well as showcasing a variety of case studies.
The Handbook initiative was led by the IWC Whale Watching Group, chaired by Ryan Wulff who thanked all those involved in the project:
“I think everyone who has contributed to the Handbook should feel very pleased with the end result. The IWC and CMS have combined their expertise and global reach to offer tangible support to those involved in the whale watching industry, whether as operators, regulators, or paying customers. This is a comprehensive resource and it’s an evolving one. I hope very much to see it grow and develop over the coming years.”
The Handbook was formally endorsed at the IWC biennial meeting in September 2018 and is available now at https://wwhandbook.iwc.int.