Speakers

 

Lloyd Edwards

Lloyd Edwards

Lloyd started the Baywatch Marine Conservation Project in 1992, which is the oldest privately funded project in Africa. The most important aims are education, marine research, tree rehabilitation projects, assisting in marine law enforcement and anti marine pollution projects. In 1997 he started Raggy Charters marine cruises in order to raise funds for the Baywatch Project. Raggy Charters currently holds the only whale and dolphin watching permit for Algoa Bay. He also specialises in taking out film crews (like the BBC) into Algoa Bay.

For the last three years Raggy Charters has twice (also a finalist) won the Lilizela Tourism Awards for the best marine, ocean and beach experience in South Africa. He has written a book on Algoa Bay and contributed to others as well as writing many articles and even two scientific papers. He is chairman of the Tree Society and won a national award for his rehabilitation of wetlands. He also won the BirdLife South Africa Owl Award in recognition of his contribution in helping to conserve the endangered African Penguin. His greatest achievement together with his wife and her research, will be to have a large section of Algoa Bay promulgated as a Marine Protected Area. It only needs to be signed off by the minister to become a reality. He was elected as the Africa Representative for the WCA in 2015. He launched Algoa Bay as the Bottlenose Dolphin Capital of the World in 2016 and is planning the Port Elizabeth Dolphin Festival for 2018.

 

Luena Fernandes

Luena Fernandes, Brazilian Humpback Whale Institute
Luena Fernandes

Luena is a zoologist working for the Brazilian Humpback Whale Institute, an NGO based in Bahia State which has been working since 1988 for the research and conservation of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), other cetaceans and marine ecosystems. The Institute aims to improve the livelihoods of coastal communities, generating alternatives for jobs and income and minimizing conflicts with human activities (e.g. artisanal fisheries, shipping and the oil industry), and to strengthen public policy for marine conservation.

Currently with two offices, in Praia do Forte and Caravelas, the Institute works in partnership with institutions both nationally and internationally, including the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, universities and other civil society organizations in Latin America and beyond.  Luena’s work over the past 10 years has focused on the sustainable management of whale watching tourism, developing education, research and capacity building in partnership with local whalewatching operators and communities along the coast of Bahia.

 

Professor Ken Findlay

Professor Ken Findlay

Prof Ken Findlay is the Research Chair: Oceans Economy at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa and previously directed the MRI Whale Unit of the University of Pretoria.

At CPUT Ken directs the Centre for Sustainable Oceans, focusing on oceans economies and governance and ecosystem based management approaches to balancing ocean health and human benefits from the ocean space. Rapidly expanding national and regional oceans economies around the world are placing increasing stresses on ocean systems that provide humans with benefits including provisioning, regulatory and cultural ecosystem services.

and As a marine mammal biologist, Ken has been integrally involved in marine mammal research in the Southern African region, in the Arabian Sea region, the Western Indian Ocean and in the Southern Ocean for the last 30 years. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and is a member of both the IUCN Cetacean Specialist Group and Sirenian Specialist Group. He was integrally involved in the IWC’s IDCR and SOWER Antarctic survey programmes between 1991 and 2005 and in the IWC’s Comprehensive Assessment of Humpback Whales since 2000. He has a strong interest in ocean acoustics, and demographics of recovering whale populations, particularly blue, right and humpback whales.

 

Angie Gullan

Angie Gullan

Angie Gullan is an expert in the area of ethical marine mammal eco-tourism. She created Dolphin Encountours and DolphinCareAfrica in the 90’s as a way of introducing humans to dolphins in their own environment while actively contributing to the research and conservation of the local dolphins.

She resides in Ponta do Ouro, Mozambique and continues to guide educational encounters with marine mammals under the specially developed dolphincare in-water code of conduct. Her work in conscious interaction between species and her relationship with this gregarious population of dolphins has been recognised and featured both locally and internationally.

 

 

 

 

Tory Johnson

Tory Johnson

Tory Johnson is currently the Data Manager for Happywhale, which tracks individual whales throughout our world’s oceans. Happywhale believes that whale watching guides, naturalists and passengers are vital to our understanding of whales. Scientists can only be in one place at one time; by harnessing the power of millions of whale watching enthusiasts, we can expand our scientific knowledge exponentially. Happywhale empowers whale watchers to photograph whales and tell their stories.

Tory has a degree in Marine Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of Washington. Her specialty is ecology of Pacific marine megafauna, and she has worked as a humpback naturalist in Hawaii, marine observer in Alaska, and a shark conservation policy adviser in California. Tory is passionate about the intersection of ecotourism and scientific research.

 

 

 

 

Sophie Lewis

Sophie Lewis

Sophie is the Responsible Whale Watching Partner Project Manager at the World Cetacean Alliance. Sophie works with the WCA’s growing number of Responsible Whale Watching Partners, developing relationships to encourage engagement, collaboration and communication on a variety of issues relating to responsible cetacean tourism and beyond. She also works on promoting WCA Partners and responsible cetacean tourism to a wider audience and has attended the Blue Flag International Jury meeting, providing advice and guidance relating to the Blue Flag Sustainable Boating Tourism Operator accreditation. Sophie is currently working on the creation of a minimum standards and best-practice guidance document to help understand and improve swim-with wild cetacean activities worldwide.

Sophie also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Master of Science in climate change and has previously worked as Data and Media Analyst for The Indonesian Manta Project in Bali. She is passionate about the collaboration between science, conservation and tourism.

 

 

 

Hayley Lynagh and Jo Hendrickx

Jo Hendrickx & Hayley Lynagh, Global Spirit

Global Spirit was co-founded by Hayley Lynagh and Jo Hendrickx to provide the travel industry with professional and independent services which support the implementation of established industry criteria for the use of animals in tourism. Trained in animal welfare and co authors of the Global Spirit’s comprehensive peer reviewed audits, the partners have established themselves as Animals In Tourism Specialists and are committed to supporting positive change within global captive and wild viewing animal attractions.

Hayley’s drive to generate positive change and create opportunities at a community level sparked an initial interest in the responsible tourism agenda which was quickly followed with a move to the tourism industry. Her extensive business skills allowed for an easy career transition where she became recognised within the responsible tourism network and involved in driving the agenda forward. She now harnesses her passion for community development and responsible tourism through the topic of animal welfare.

Jo is a passionate advocate for sustainable tourism, and has dedicated a significant part of her career to working with people to create tourism products which respect the natural environment, improve livelihood opportunities and engage holidaymakers. Galvanising those people to make a difference, together with understanding the importance of delivering benefits to all stakeholders has been key to her success. She continues to a take a ‘solutions focused’ approach to the use of animals in tourism and the people responsible for their welfare.

 

Anastasia Miliou

Anastasia Miliou

Anastasia Miliou is a marine biologist and the Scientific Director of the Greek NGO Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation. Anastasia is among the key founding members of the Aegean Marine Life Sanctuary which is currently under creation, aiming to become a vet station where marine mammals and turtles can receive care, within a pristine biodiverse bay, as well as the first permanent, semi-natural sanctuary in the world to rehabilitate dolphins rescued from commercial captivity.

Anastasia is also the Greek Ambassador for the EU for Sustainable Fisheries & Maritime Policy. Her expertise is on fisheries research and management, marine mammal research, as well as marine protected habitat conservation, while a large part of her work also involves the engagement of stakeholders in the process of conservation of marine resourses.

 

 

Roy Mulder

Roy Mulder, Executive Director, CMEPS
Roy Mulder

Roy Mulder, a self-proclaimed fish sympathizer uses strong visual imagery of the ocean combined with active involvement in marine conservation to create the change that needs to happen. Learning scuba diving through the Canadian Armed Forces 37 years ago set him on his current path to devote his life to the creation of marine conservation areas in Canada.  He is a strong believer in community and has been active in numerous organizations and programming.

As Vice-President to the Underwater Council of British Columbia he cut his teeth on the complexities of ministerial policy and dealing with the political system. Advocating on behalf of the UCBC he worked towards creating marine sanctuaries for the Mooring Buoy Program that he helped to found. All the areas identified went on to become part of the Rockfish Conservation Areas in Canada as a result of this work.  In the process an illegal wolf-eel fishery was discovered and halted.  Having logged thousands of dives over decades has strongly affected Roy’s feelings about the ocean. He is keenly aware of the degradation of fish stocks from a point of view that scuba divers truly understand. As a member of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, he learned fish identification and counting procedure. As a coordinator of numerous PADI Project Aware underwater beach clean-ups he developed a template for a safer underwater clean-up. Having seen thousands of kilos of garbage come up from the bottom of the ocean and lakes have strongly affected Roy. During this time he was invited to be on the Canadian Marine Environment Protection board that he currently sits on as Executive Director. The CMEPS board focuses on marine issues in Canada.

 

David Schofield

David Schofield

David Schofield has worked in the marine mammal field for twenty-eight years. He holds a Master of Science degree from University of Maryland with his thesis focusing on neonatal behavioral development of bottlenose dolphins. Fourteen years of David’s marine mammal experience comes from his work in “marine mammal rehabilitation” where had worked to care for stranded seals, whales, and dolphins for the goal of reintroduction to the wild.

For the past twelve years David has worked as the Marine Mammal Response Program Manager for NOAA’s Pacific Islands Regional Office (PIRO) overseeing marine mammal response in Hawaii, Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. David has also served as a key point-of-contact with law enforcement as an expert behavioral witness for marine mammal harassment cases. He has led volunteer groups in marine mammal response and rehabilitation efforts across the Northeast of the US, Florida, Costa Rica and Hawaii. In Costa Rica, he collaborated with Representatives from the Baltimore Aquarium and a Costa Rican turtle conservation NGO to perpetuate the mindset of sustainable ecotourism, transitioning leatherback turtle egg poachers from the consumptive utilization of marine resources to non-consumptive, non-extractive use resulting in environmental conservation and improvement of community welfare.

 

Vince Shacks

Vince Shacks

Vince Shacks is the General Manager of the Ecotourism Unit at the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA). Vince has worked in the field of ecology and ecotourism throughout Southern Africa as an independent researcher, consultant and now with WESSA, an organisation with a proud 90 year history.

Vince is an active member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and World Commission on Protected Areas and has managed the South African Blue Flag programme for the past 2 years. As a passionate conservationist, Vince believes that certification programmes play an important role in promoting private-public partnerships and implementing measurable environmental programmes.

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel Turner

Daniel Turner

Daniel has been working for the Born Free Foundation since 2000. His work for the charity has focused on developing and raising international standards in animal welfare and protection in Europe through political lobby and, in a global context, through the development of responsible tourism policy. Daniel is an environmental biologist with background experience in field conservation and wildlife trafficking investigation.

At the Born Free Foundation, Daniel has initiated and led on a number of ground-breaking initiatives, including: the EU Zoo Inquiry: an extensive review of zoo regulation and compliance across the European Union; the authorship of ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism, now adopted by tour operators across Europe; the development of an extensive suite of materials to persuade travel businesses to better protect animals; and most recently, the launch of Animal Footprint, a one-stop-shop focused on animals in tourism. Daniel is also the Coordinator of the European coalition, ENDCAP, and a member of the Global Council of the World Cetacean Alliance.

 

 

 

Els Vermeulen

Els Vermeulen

Born in Antwerp –Belgium- in 1981, Els has had an interest in marine mammal conservation for as long as she can remember. In 2003 she obtained a Master Degree in Biological Science from the Free University of Brussels and a PhD degree in 2014 from the University of Liège. The final dissertation of her MSc concerned the behaviour and ecology of southern right whales, for which she travelled to Argentina. What was meant to be a short fieldtrip became a life-changer. She was so impressed by the beauty of this country, and by the many marine conservation issues that she decided to emigrate to Argentina and set up a national conservation program for coastal marine mammals. At the age of 22, she co-founded the Marybio Foundation, an independent NGO that she directed for the next 6 years.

Els strongly believes in a multidisciplinary approach to face the challenges within marine conservation. Additionally, she believes collaboration with governments and decision-makers is of vital importance. This awareness gave rise to the idea to co-found Whalefish, which aims to continue to increase the public awareness and educational outreach related to the marine environment, and to improve networking possibilities. Currently, she resides in the beautiful whale-watching town of Hermanus, South Africa. After completing her first post-doc on Indian Ocean humpback dolphins, she currently works as the research manager and post-doctoral research fellow of the Mammal Research Institute Whale Unit of the University of Pretoria, focusing on the conservation and research of the country’s most emblematic species, the southern right whale.

 

Dylan Walker

Dylan Walker, World Cetacean Alliance CEO
Dylan Walker

Dylan is CEO for the Secretariat of the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA), a partnership of over 90 non-profit organisations, whale and dolphin watching tour operators and individuals in 40 countries working collaboratively to protect cetaceans. Overarching the WCA programmes is the Whale Heritage Sites initiative, which accredits outstanding locations where cetaceans are embraced through the cultural, economic, social, and political lives of associated communities, and where people and cetaceans coexist in an authentic and respectful way.

As a scientist, conservationist, and former whale watch operator, Dylan has worked with the whale watching industry across Europe, Latin America and North America for 20 years, and has written several books on cetaceans. He is also co-founder of WhaleFest, one of the world’s largest celebrations of whales and dolphins and campaigning platform for ocean conservation issues.

 

 

 

 

Alexander Sánchez

To Be Confirmed

Alexander Sánchez, Cetacean Rescue Technician
Alexander Sánchez

Alex is a cetacean rescue technician, research assistant and wildlife tour guide based in Spain. Due to his heavy involvement in cetacean and sea turtle rescue, he also remains a student of biology at the University of Granada. He has been keen on whales and dolphins since a very young age, and in 2012 he decided to travel to South Africa to get some first hand experience in cetacean observation and research. He was trained as a marine guide at Ocean Blue Adventures in Plettenberg Bay, and he visits South Africa at least once a year due to a grassroots project (which he founded) for a local township school. This project raises funds and provides education for approximately 90 Xhosa children in the township of Qolweni.

On his return to Spain in 2012 he became part of a marine wildlife stranding network which gained some international recognition for its 6-month attempted rehabilitation of a wild juvenile striped dolphin called Marcos. Alexander played an active part in this project, both in the water working on rehabilitating the dolphin and in fundraising for necessary materials and veterinary needs. Following this dolphin’s death, Alexander became a member of the stranding technical team and attended many stranded animals of different species. During his time with this network he also attended many meetings and events around Europe, as well as helped in different cetacean related issues, such as welfare campaigns for dolphins in EU zoos and aquariums. Alexander was also a founding individual Partner of the World Cetacean Alliance.