Whale Heritage Sites

The WCA’s flagship global programme

Whale Heritage Sites are a global network of outstanding places where local communities celebrate, respect and protect cetaceans and their habitats. 

The Whale Heritage Site (WHS) programme is an initiative created by the World Cetacean Alliance to formally recognise and accredit destinations around the world that support and demonstrate the importance of whales, dolphins and porpoises and their ocean habitats through culture, education, research, and conservation.

For the travel industry, Whale Heritage Sites provide a clear marker to help identify and support sustainable practices and create a platform for communities to engage with marine culture, heritage and biodiversity.

For tourists, it provides a transparent and easy way to select responsible whale and dolphin watching holiday destinations and encourage them to experience these incredible animals in their natural habitat, in a sustainable and respectful way.

At its heart, though, the WHS programme empowers coastal communities themselves to champion cetaceans and marine biodiversity in all walks of life. It showcases an entire community and their relationship with the ocean by encouraging respectful human-cetacean coexistence; celebrating cetaceans in local culture, arts and events; working towards local economic and environmental sustainability; and developing locally based science, research, education and awareness programmes.