Brings you the best marine ecotourism experiences in Europe

10 Tips for Great Whalewatching

Engaging in a Responsible Whalewatching Experience
by Andrea Blanco | 25/07/2016 | 07:43
thumb.php?crop=0&n=wildlife%2FSperm-whale-tail The sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) is the largest of the toothed whales.

Imagine watching an enormous whale emerging to the surface of the ocean as it blows its breath up to the skies. Or a group of dolphins jumping through a sea of waves. Oh, the freedom! Sighting marine animals in the wild is an exhilarating experience that speaks for nature and its beauty. Although often unknown, there are plenty of opportunities for whale and shark watching in Europe. Here are 10 tips that will help you make the most of your next whalewatching adventure, while contributing to keep the sea wild and vivid!

  1. Choose an operator who has a clear code of conduct when interacting with marine wildlife. For example, a responsible tourism operator will approach the animals at slow speed, leave always up to them the choice of getting near the vessel without chasing them and will never stand in their way.
  2. Do a little research in advance about the animals and birds that you can find in the area. It will make your experience more wholesome and you may even be able to recognize a species when you spot it! Europe has an incredible marine wildlife.
  3. Once you encounter a sighting, have your camera ready! Take pictures or videos as memories of your amazing experience. Do not capture any wildlife – we love them free!
  4. Pease do not feed the animals, even if you think that you are giving them proper food. Bear in mind that it is natural for them to find food for themselves and it increases their survival skills. Feeding them can negatively affect their health.
  5. Refrain also from touching them. It can be risky for both you and the animal, as diseases can be transmitted or aggressive behaviors triggered. Do not think of animals as pets: they are wild creatures living free.
  6. Share your sightings! Spreading the beauty of the ocean may help others to appreciate its value. Even more, some organization might be interested in your data for scientific purposes! You can use the #WildseaEurope hashtag to connect with others.
  7. Avoid littering or polluting. Keep your litter with you until the end of the activity or until you find a proper litter disposal system. The sea is home to millions of species and marine pollution is a major environmental challenge. We can all do our share at keeping it clean!
  8. Enjoy the soundtrack of the sea. Feel the ocean with all your senses and stay calm and quiet to seize the experience. Try to differentiate the species that you sight through the sounds that they make.
  9. Write a review to tell others about how your operator managed the trip. Reviews are a powerful incentive to apply best practices and a great tool to spread the word about great experiences.
  10. Stay tuned! Wildsea Europe will soon launch guidelines for responsible marine wildlife watching. Sign-up to our newsletter if you would like to know more about the topic and we will keep you posted.

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