Watching dolphins, whales, seals and other ocean wildlife is popular with tourists and locals in Namibia. But what do we know about how tourism is affecting them? And what should be done to ensure this activity is as enjoyable in the future as it is now? To learn more about this, we have asked Ruth Leeney from Benguela Research & Training in Walvis Bay to give a talk for TOSCO in Windhoek:
In recent years, concerns regarding the sustainability of marine wildlife-watching activities have been raised worldwide. In Namibia, the marine wildlife-watching industry is a small but important sector of coastal tourism. A study over three years has revealed the economic benefits that this sector provides to coastal communities, particularly in the Walvis Bay region. MarWiSe (Marine Wildlife Safe) provides training and advice on how to develop responsible, environmentally friendly marine tourism industry. MarWiSe is based on the WiSe scheme, which is a successful standard in the UK http://www.wisescheme.org/.
About Ruth Leeney: Ruth has a PhD in the ecology and behaviour of small cetaceans from University College Dublin, and is co-founder of the Namibian Dolphin Project. She currently runs the Protect Africa’s Sawfishes project and is developing a research programme on the rare Atlantic humpback dolphins of West Africa. She is Director of Benguela Research & Training, a company based in Walvis Bay which provides marine ecological monitoring services and training in sustainable marine tourism.
No entrance fee – donations welcome. We are looking forward to seeing you there!