Towards responsible tourism for cetaceans

Key Goals

  1. WHS applicants and candidate sites showcased
  2. WHS criteria and process improved
  3. Tentative list of WHS identified for Africa
  4. Help and advice for prospective sites


Wednesday 28 June

Welcome to the 2nd Whale Heritage Sites Summit!

Keynote speaker: Whales and whale heritage in South Africa. TBA


SYMPOSIUM 1: Sites, experiences, and progress

Chair: Natalie Barefoot, CetLaw, USA

Symposium 1 Morning Session


  • Case Study from a leading Whale Heritage Site applicant:

1) Why they applied?

2) How they have benefitted

3) What does the future hold?

4) How we quantify their success

5) How it will affect their visitor economy

6) Tangible benefits for cetaceans


Presentation session: initial applicants and candidate sites reveal what makes them special

Ponta da Ouro, Mozambique – Diana Rocha

Durban, South Africa – TBA

Port Elizabeth, South Africa – Lloyd Edwards

Nantucket Island, USA – Scott Leonard


Symposium 1 Afternoon Session

WHS in Africa

  • Mapping tentative sites across Africa


  • Workshop
    • Is the WHS criteria appropriate in an African context?
    • Identifying areas for improvement
    • Whale Heritage Fund – helping applicants get started!


Summit plenary

  • Summary and feedback


Thursday 29 June

Keynote speaker: TBA


SYMPOSIUM 2: Moving forward and providing advice

Chair: TBA

Morning Session



Workshop activities will focus on information gathered through a feedback process with candidate sites, accredited sites, initial applicants, and the WHS management committees. Should places that only meet some of the criteria for Whale Heritage Sites still be able to apply for an appropriate designation (for example, as responsible whale watching sites)? Should WHS be broken down into sites of regional, as well as global significance? How might Whale Heritage Trails fit into the Whale Heritage Sites programme? This session will take a look at the opportunities to expand the WHS programme to include communities linked to cetaceans across the world, and discuss how we might use the initiative to further protect cetaceans and associated communities that rely on the sea.


  • Criteria review
  • Focus on indigenous communities
  • Flexibility of the candidacy process
  • Marine (natural) vs terrestrial (cultural) sites


Afternoon session


  • Help and advice
  • Best practice and cross-pollination
  • Audit process and training update
  • Announcement on the host of the 2019 WWC and WHSS
  • Close