Choose your language:

Sustainable whalewatching on the agenda in the Indian Ocean


This week in Colombo, Sri Lanka, whalewatching experts will join representatives from government and industry to discuss the development of sustainable whalewatching in the Indian Ocean region.

In an initiative supported by the Australian Government, the IWC is working with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to evaluate the potential benefits of a region-wide whalewatching tourism network.  Industry figures and members of the IWC Scientific Committee will join experts from Murdoch University Cetaceans Research Unit and the Sri Lankan Institute of Policy Studies to share knowledge and experience.  Over forty participants are expected to attend, from around fifteen countries in the Indian Ocean region.

Whalewatching tourism presents an economic opportunity for many countries and communities around the world.  Whilst these places can be very diverse, the goal of sustainable whalewatching is shared.  The IWC has developed a 5 Year Whalewatching Strategy that aims to establish and then make available, best practice guidelines for those involved in whalewatching, wherever they are in the world.

On the agenda at the IORA workshop is the Whalewatching Handbook, a ‘living’ online tool that the IWC is developing to support operators, regulators and others working in and regulating the sector.  Once complete, it’s hoped that this Handbook will provide regions including the Indian Ocean rim with the tools needed to develop an industry that supports economic growth and benefits the marine environment.

The workshop runs from 24-26 February.

For more information on whalewatching click here.