[MARMAM] Areas of Interest for Whale Heritage Sites in Africa

Dylan Walker dylan at worldcetaceanalliance.org
Mon Oct 16 14:52:04 PDT 2017

Dear Marmamers,

The World Cetacean Alliance is pleased to report on an online survey we
requested Marmam subscribers to complete in June 2017 to identify 'Areas of
Interest' for Whale Heritage Sites across Africa.
Whale Heritage Site (WHS) status is 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 full report is available here:


In summary, the survey highlighted the following:

   1. Thirty three Areas of Interest were identified across 22 African
   2. Respondents included: Whale watch industry 18.4%, NGOs 15.8%, Travel
   industry 11.8%, Universities 6.6%, and Local authority 5.3%
   3. Humpback whale (*Megaptera novaeangliae*), spinner dolphin (*Stenella
   longirostris*) and bottlenose dolphin (*Tursiops truncatus / aduncus*)
   were listed most regularly.
   4. Of 35 cetacean species reported across the Areas of Interest, IUCN
   list 3 species as Endangered, 1 species as Near Threatened, 2 species as
   Vulnerable, 14 species as Data Deficient, and 15 species are of Least
   5. The top four impacts on cetaceans were listed as: 1. Fishing
   practices (including bycatch); 2. Pollution; 3. Noise pollution; and 4.
   Ocean plastics.
   6. African respondents highlighted the following strengths in meeting
   the WHS criteria:

   - Application of responsible whale watching guidelines, with commercial
   operators supporting research programmes.
   - Ancient cultural links with cetaceans; historical whaling heritage;
   artistic associations; and whale festivals.
   - Cetacean related education programmes delivered to local communities.
   - Cetacean based conservation research and policy.
   - Sustainable livelihoods are created, generating local employment,
   local communities take part in decisions, and responsible tourism
   management ensures active and ongoing improvement towards sustainability.
   - Marine and terrestrial ecosystems are maintained and enhanced.

The survey results were presented at the Whale Heritage Sites Summit,
Durban, South Africa, on 28-29 June 2017 by Graham Drucker (compiled by
Beth Hinton).

A workshop followed in which we tested the criteria for Whale Heritage
Sites on a number of African sites and found that it was possible for these
sites to meet the criteria even if financial and other resources were

For more information about Whale Heritage Sites contact:

WHS at worldcetaceanalliance.org

With thanks to everybody who took part in the survey.

Dylan Walker

Chief Executive Officer

*World Cetacean Alliance *

*T *+44 (0)1273 355011*   M *+44 (0)7900 471490* S *dylan.wca

*E *dylan at worldcetaceanalliance.org*   W *worldcetaceanalliance.org

*W2 *whaleheritagesites.org  *W3 *worldwhaleconference.org

*A *Studio 3, Lower Promenade, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1ET, UK

*The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is a Partnership of over 90 non-profit
organisations, whale and dolphin watching tour operators and individuals in
40 countries worldwide working collaboratively to protect cetaceans and
their habitats. World Cetacean Alliance, the Secretariat to the
Partnership, is a UK registered Charity no. 1160484. *

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