Some partners have been with the World Cetacean Alliance from the very beginning, playing a central role in the development of the WCA as an organization. Rachael Barber is one of these partners, she has been active within the WCA from the start.
“I have been passionate about whales, dolphins and porpoises since the age of 5, when I saw my first dolphin and proceeded to write my own book about them! I went on to undertake a BSc in Zoology and an MSc in Ecology and Conservation, with as much focus on marine mammals as I could.
Since then I have worked as a whale watching guide off the Isle of Mull in Scotland and across the Bay of Biscay, as well as getting involved with surveys onboard ferries and cruise ships. I love to travel, watching whales and dolphins around the world and at home in the UK, and write my own blog of my adventures called Wild Barley. More recently I have returned to a Marine Mammal Consultant role within offshore industries, conducting impact assessments and writing mitigation plans for marine mammals.
I have been involved with the WCA since the very beginning, having volunteered at WhaleFest. I joined the WCA because I believe in the power of the network and community to make real change for whales, dolphins and porpoises. It also gives me a chance to ‘do something’ for them, even when my life has taken me in different directions. The fact that WCA lets individuals becomes partners gives an opportunity for people who may not work or live in the world of marine mammals, but care about them none the less, to get involved.
Since the start of the WCA I have been involved with the Communications Working Group, starting off as Secretary before becoming the Chair of the group, a role I still occupy today. Through this Working Group I have been involved with many WCA projects, including helping to promote the World Whale Conferences and various campaigns and projects through our social media platforms.
“For me, uniquely it gives the individual the opportunity to do the same. To be part of something bigger and to help contribute in making a difference to these incredible creatures that so many are inspired by. Even if you live in the middle of land locked Norfolk, miles from the sea, you can make a difference by joining the WCA.”
My biggest achievement whilst working with the WCA Communications Working Group has been the creation of the monthly newsletter. The newsletter not only presents news about WCA projects and work but is an opportunity for partners to share their work and news also. It gives partners a platform to tell the rest of the partnership and the wider public about the work they are doing and celebrate their achievements. My favourite part of the newsletter has to be the Sighting of the Month, as you never know what incredible encounters our partners are going to have!
The WCA gives whale watch operators and organisations the opportunity to be part of something bigger, a network and community of knowledge, ideas and support. But for me, uniquely it gives the individual the opportunity to do the same. To be part of something bigger and to help contribute in making a difference to these incredible creatures that so many are inspired by. Even if you live in the middle of land locked Norfolk, miles from the sea, you can make a difference by joining the WCA.”
If you would like to support the work of the WCA you can do so by donating here, volunteering or becoming a partner yourself. For more information send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via our contact form