[MARMAM] Launch of whale watching review system provides new open data source

Dylan Walker dylan at planetwhale.com
Thu Aug 4 02:28:11 PDT 2011

The team at Planet Whale are proud to announce that after six months of
valuable discussions with our partners in the scientific community, we have
now launched the very first ethical review and rating system for the world's
whale and dolphin watch operators at: http://www.planetwhale.com/browse

Finally, and for the first time, we have developed a system that will
provide data to whale and dolphin watch operators on issues surrounding the
sustainability of their trips.

Our simple 5 question rating and review system can be completed in less than
a minute, yet it provides us with a vital first step in encouraging the
world's whale and dolphin watch operators to raise their standards,
incentivised by the opportunity to benefit from improved promotional and
publicity opportunities if they are reviewed positively.

Our model is simple. Customers review trips based on five ethical questions
that provide important feedback to whale and dolphin watch operators,
identifying areas where they are doing well and areas where there may
be room for improvement. Planet Whale and its partners will continue to work
with all operators by providing advice and linking operators of varying
experience to the benefit of all.

The effectiveness of the ethical review system will be reviewed at a
forthcoming workshop to be held on 4th November in partnership with WSPA
(details to be announced shortly).

We would like to extend a warm thanks to our Founder Partners: OceanCare,
Dolphin-Care Africa, Sea Life Surveys, Whale and Dolphin Watch Australia,
and Whale Watch West Cork for their ideas and efforts in building the review
system. Thanks must also go to the many volunteers who assisted us and those
experts in both the scientific, charitable and commercial sectors of whale
watching / conservation who gave of their advice.

With the rating system in place, the next task is to encourage as many
people to record data on whale watching trips as possible through the review
system. For that we welcome your continued help and support.

To review a trip, simply register or sign in to www.planetwhale.com, then
find your trip using our search engine at: http://www.planetwhale.com/browse

For more information on the review system, including tips on posting a
review, visit: http://www.planetwhale.com/reviews


Dylan Walker & Ian Rowlands
dylan at planetwhale.com www.planetwhale.com  Office:  +44 (0)1273 355011
Planet Whale, 2a Church Road, Hove, East Sussex BN3 2FL, UK
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