Enez'news - Martinique

Martinique: training of whale-watching operators

Whale watching Martinique - Hervé Bré EnezGreen
According to a study commissioned by the Agoa sanctuary, whale watching is on the rise in the Antilles. In 2015, thirty operators based in Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin welcomed more than 50,000 visitors and generated a turnover of € 2,165,000. Since 2010, the number of operators has increased by 3 and their turnover by 4.

Training of whale watching operators and Agoa charter for sustainable management of whale watching

If the study commissioned by the Agoa sanctuary highlighted the growth of the whale watching in the Caribbean, it also allowed to highlight bad practices that repeated over time can seriously harm cetaceans, such as reducing the rate of reproduction and feeding capabilities, increasing the risk of disease for cetaceans under stress, or the abandonment of essential sites yet their vital activities ...
Recognizing the need for better management of the business, the majority of operators has warmly welcomed the management program for sustainable whale watching.
Organized by the Foam Blowers of association, the 3-day training is the first step dedicated to whale-watching operators. From 17 to 19 October tourism providers will be able to follow a dozen modules to learn to recognize signs of disturbance of the animals and respect the cetaceans approach rules not to disturb them. This training will also provide their naturalistic knowledge in order to share them with their customers and educate to respect the marine environment. A number of tools will be available to them, including an identification tag species.

Whale-watching in the Caribbean could be soon regulated by a label or a licensing system

The training will be followed by the signing of the 1st Agoa charter for responsible whale watching tourism. Eventually, the whale-watching management program in the French Antilles will include devices currently under consideration such as a label or a licensing system.


Sources : Souffleurs d'Écume