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Whale Watching Handbook

a comprehensive, online tool for regulators, industry and the general public

Whale watching is a rapidly growing activity, and the Whale Watching Handbook was designed to help the industry develop in a way that is sustainable in the long-term, for both the whale populations that are observed and the economies that depend on their presence.

As the inter-governmental organisation charged with conservation of whale stocks, the IWC is well-placed to provide the expertise needed to understand and manage the potential impacts of whale watching on the whales.  These foundations have been strengthened by a partnership with the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS) and the result is a comprehensive, living and evolving resource on whale watching, available in three languages.

The Handbook aims to support three different audiences:

-          Policy makers and regulators who develop rules and guidelines for the whale watching industry at national and regional level;

-          The travel, tour, boat, aircraft and other businesses that make up the whale watching industry;

-          Members of the public seeking reliable and impartial information in order to plan high quality   whale watching trips.

As well as original content designed to support each of these user groups, the Handbook includes an interactive map with country profiles which explain the whale watching activities in different parts of the world, case studies outlining both positive experiences and any lessons learnt by those involved in the whale watching industry and its regulation, a comprehensive table of the regulations themselves, and a species section, including annotated illustrations and other information to maximise the educational opportunities presented by whale watching trips. The Handbook also provides a variety of downloadable resources including a searchable table of over 300 peer reviewed articles.

To access the Whale Watching Handbook, click here.