Three tourism operators have joined forces to protect humpback whales when they reach the end of their migration from Antarctica to their birthing site at Ilha De Mozambique.
The 3 operators, Ilha Blue Island Safaris, Vivo Island Safaris and Genito Magic Tour are calling on the authorities to introduce internationally recognised whale watching standards where professional guides follow international protocols for minimum distance, safe approach and limits on how much time is spent with any one pod.
In July the 3 operators will join together with other agencies to reach out to fishermen, tour boat operators, authorities and local schools to spread the message that whales need to be protected.
Every year the whales make the 4000km migration to give birth in the warm waters close to Ilha De Mozambique. The growing popularity of whale watching brings the risk of disturbing the whales’ mating and birthing patterns.
Tourism is growing and with more boats and inexperienced operators the risk of an incident which can scare the whales away increases. “This would be bad for the whales and also bad for Mozambique’s adventure tourism economy,” said Pete Allsop the Operations Manager for Ilha Blue, a partner in the World Cetacean Alliance.
“Everybody wants to see the whales when they congregate close to shore and perform spectacular acrobatic displays of jumping, fin and tail slapping, and that’s great, but it has to be done responsibly,” he adds.