Conference programme

WCA’s World Whale Conference 2017 will unite cetacean scientists, conservationists and welfare experts with whale watching operators, tour operators and other industry representatives, to discuss how tourism can be effective in protecting and celebrating marine wildlife across Africa – and the world – for generations to come. Take a look through the conference programme and find out more on the speakers, workshop sessions, community events, and delegate only excursions that are taking place as part of the 2017 World Whale Conference and Whale Heritage Site Summit.


Orca blow and rainbow
Copyright (c) Lloyd Edwards / Raggy Charters

Saturday 24th June 2017

“Celebrating Durban as the gateway to the Humpback whale migration”

Whale watching and Safari Excursions

Delegates attending the World Whale Conference 2017 are invited to take part in one of two local excursions on Saturday 24th June, prior to the start of the conference. Delegates may choose from a whale watching tour or a land-based safari in Tala Game Reserve, organised by conference partners Aquatours.

Community Event (Full details to be confirmed)

Sunday 25th June 2017


Venue: Hotel Protea Edward  (timings to be confirmed)

If you wish to submit a proposal for a Workshop please complete the form before the deadline of 31st March 2017.  All applicants will be informed about whether their proposal has been successful by 14th April 2017.

Workshops are open to all delegates and on all subjects relating to cetaceans. If room space becomes limited, priority will be given to workshops focused on African cetaceans or of likely interest to African participants.

It will be the responsibility of the workshop organiser to set appropriate participant fees, collect these and pass them over to the Conference Organiser.  It will also be the responsibility of the workshop organiser to provide receipts to attendees, and create a list of attendees – copy to the Conference Organiser. Fees should cover the costs of hiring the venue and any facilities required, and if provided, all refreshments. The workshop organiser can look for sponsors to cover these costs.


Drinks reception (full details to be confirmed)

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward


Monday 26th & Tuesday 27th June 2017

WCA Conference

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward

The 4th WCA Conference will focus on responsible tourism for whales and dolphins. With the aim to unite national, regional and global stakeholders from whale conservation and welfare backgrounds, the whale watching industry, travel and tourism representatives, and beyond. Creating the opportunity to share evidence, discuss strategies and ensure the protection of cetaceans in southern Africa and worldwide.

For more information on the previous WCA conference please click here.


Wednesday 28th & Thursday 29th June 2017

Whale Heritage Sites (WHS) Summit

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward

The 2nd Whale Heritage Sites Summit will bring together representatives from tourist destinations, international institutions and the private sector along with global experts in tourism, sustainability and whale watching to see WHS candidates showcase their destinations, and discuss and explore opportunities for the development of new sites in Africa and worldwide.

The previous WHS Summit was held in The Azores in October 2015, for more information please visit the official website.


Thursday 29th June 2017

Awards Dinner

Venue: Hotel Protea Edward

An Awards Dinner will be held on the evening of Thursday 29th June, to bring an end to the conference and to award those groups and individuals who have made great steps to protect – and/or celebrate – cetaceans.

Full details to be confirmed.