March: The Wildsea Atlantic Ocean Heritage (WOAH) Route, an EU funded project was launched in January. With WCA one of 7 organisations working to create this sustainable maritime route across 4 countries.
April: WCA partner Freebird Catamaran gave an update on an open day for 21 students currently doing internships in the south of Tenerife.
May: WCA announces an exciting collaboration with Virgin Holidays suppliers to work towards meeting newly developed global best-practice guidelines. At the same time WCA Responsible Whale Watching Project Manager Sophie Lewis attended Blue Flags International Jury Meeting to advise on their Sustainable Boat Tourism Operator programme.
June: Partner Atlantiangra in the Azores celebrated World Environment Day and World Oceans Day by participating in activities to promote ocean literacy and education. Ilha Blue in Mozambique worked with their community to make sure whale watching is done responsibly. Partner Dolphin Encountours attended the International Conference on Nature-based Tourism in Conservation Areas.
July: WCA launched its Global Best Practice for Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching, and a an updated version of the WCA Responsible Whale Watching App. Thomas Cook announced an end to working with Seaworld and Loro Parque. Partner Sharyn Taylor explains why a proposals for a new captive facility in the US Virgin Islands is outdated, unethical and a terrible idea. In a Guest Blog, Nina Dawe and the Campaigns Working Group discusses why the way cetaceans kept in tanks and forced to perform for public entertainment is inhumane and unacceptable.
August: From a southern right whale mother and calf to a pod of 20 false killer whales, Dolphin Encountours gave an update of what has been happening in Mozambique. Partner Amanda Stafford gave her perspective for a new management plan and regulation for in-water encounters with dolphins at the Sataya Reef, Egypt.
September: WCA CEO attends meetings with Virgin Holidays to continue encouraging improvement in responsible whale watching. Partner Elding Whale Watching Reykjavik, Iceland was nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2018. And, partner White Tenerife invested in a new catamaran with a brand new hydrophone. In a new blog we explored how WCA is encouraging responsible whale watching.
October: We took a sneak peak behind the scenes of Yorkshire Life Aquatics The Human Aquarium Project. Raggy Charters scooped the South Africa Lilizela Award for the 4th time and partner Rachael Barber entered the Wildlife Blogger of the Year 2018 with a piece about responsible whale watching in Canada.
November: Raggy Charters launches a brand new boat and White Tenerife participated in the release of rehabilitated marine turtles at the same time as Tenerife’s Sustainability Charter is launched.