Introduction and background
The IWC is the intergovernmental forum for the conservation of whales. It first recognised the economic and educational importance of whale watching in 1975, and the need to ensure whale watching is conducted responsibly. This handbook was first proposed during an IWC-hosted meeting in Patagonia in 2010. In 2017 funding was made available for its realisation, through generous voluntary contributions, and drafting and sourcing of original content for the handbook took place over the following year. Translation of the original English content into French and Spanish has been funded and coordinated by the Convention on Migratory Species.
This Handbook is designed to support managers, regulators, operators and anyone interested in whale watching. It is a flexible and evolving tool incorporating international best practice, educational resources and a summary of the latest, relevant scientific information. Content has been drafted and sourced in consultation with IWC and CMS affiliated scientists and managers from around the world, and is reviewed each year at the meeting of the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission.
Content can be updated and/or expanded at any time, however. Anyone using this site may contact the IWC Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org) to suggest updates, corrections, or share additional resources that could be posted on the site to the benefit of other users.