4 April 2016 – Whale Heritage Sites Launch Day!

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After 18 months of development, two public consultations, and a two day summit, the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is proud to announce that the Whale Heritage Sites initiative is officially open for applications!

Whale Heritage Sites aim to increase the protection and conservation of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and their habitats while contributing to sustainable livelihoods, the arts, science and education. Whale Heritage Site status will be granted to those places around the world where cetaceans are celebrated through art, education, research and cultural events; where sustainable practices and livelihoods are continually improved to ensure the health of cetacean habitats and the long-term economic health of human communities; and where respectful coexistence with cetaceans is supported through law, policy and cooperation.

The WCA would like to thank the hundreds of people that contributed to the development of the WHS criteria, representing government, tourism, private industry, academia, NGO’s and the general public in over 40 countries worldwide.

We would particularly like to thank the tireless efforts of the Whale Heritage Sites Steering Committee whose combined expertise and ideas have contributed hugely to an initiative that we believe is critical to the future protection of cetaceans, their habitats, and the people that live alongside them.

The Whale Heritage Sites Steering Committee are: Helena Beard (Travel Brand Consultancy), Ian Rowlands (WhaleFest), John Fanshawe (BirdLife International), Luena Fernandes (Humpback Whale Institute), Malcolm Barradell (WCA Chair), Scott Leonard (Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation Program), Natalie Barefoot (Cetacean Law), Jared Towers (North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association), Olivier Schotte (Whale Watching Consultant), Rachel McCaffery (Green Case Consulting / CaribSave), Ruben Rodrigues (Futurismo Azores Whale Watching), Rui Rodrigues (Futurismo Azores Whale Watching), Stephanie Stefanski (Tito Bottazi Tours), and Dylan Walker (WCA Secretariat).

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