World Whale Conference 2019: Towards Sustainable Whale and Dolphin Tourism

Hello everybody!

The 7th of October is approaching and for some of the Terra Azul family this means to get ready for a long, long journey! That is, this year we will participate to the World Whale Conference in Hervey Bay, Australia! This year theme will be ‘Journeys that inspire change’, nothing could be more appropriate as we prepare to travel to the other side of the planet 😉

This conference will focus on the understanding of whale migrations and how to protect them promoting sustainable whale-watching practices around the world. This falls within the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that Terra Azul have embraced signing the Cartilha da Sustentabilidade dos Açores earlier this year. If you want to learn more about it, you can check the government website here!

And on our previous blog post you can read about our sustainability objectives of the year 🙂

In addition, the delegates will explore the cultural and historical significance of whales and how to maximize the power of cetaceans to inspire positive human behavior change to protect our Oceans. This is one of Terra Azul objectives since its foundation 18 years ago and we cannot wait to share our experience and get new inspiration from other parts of the world!

If you wish to meet us, Miguel and Lorenzo will be available during the Tuesday 8th day session and they will participate to the workshop at 14:30 with the theme: How do we encourage people to act to protect cetaceans and our oceans?

The next day Wednesday the 9th Miguel and Lorenzo will be attending the talks and representing Terra Azul at the idea exchange session at 16:15. The theme will be one of the most important ones for our philosophy: how whale-watching can be sustainable and help saving our planet? Feel free to join the discussion and come to meet us!


Terra Azul sailing and rowing teams pose next to Senhora de Fátima, the Azorean whaling boat restored by Terra Azul and still the only one operational in São Miguel Island. Our cultural and historical connection with whales is embedded in the wood of this traditional vessel. This monument perfectly represents the necessary humanity change from a destructive use of the Ocean resources to a sustainable and respectful present and future.


Finally, Terra Azul guide Lorenzo will present some of the results of his PhD research on the effects of swim-with-whales tourism on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) behavior in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga on at 10:30 during Wednesday the 9th session. If you wish to learn more about his project, you can check his conference abstract here! or have read of his latest scientific publication in PLoSONE.


A humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) mother lifts her calf on the top of the rostrum while some tourists in snorkeling gear watch from a safe distance in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga. Lorenzo used Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – also referred as drones – to investigate the behavior of humpback whales in response to swimmer approaches. Imagery collected under scientific permit MOT 4/3 isseud by the Tongan Ministry of Tourism.


Stay tuned for further updates about our participation to the World Whale Conference 2019!

And let’s hope that another way more powerful Lorenzo will let us fly out of São Miguel Island 🙂

Jessie Ocket

About Jessie Ocket

Jessie has a strong passion for the ocean and wildlife. Joined the TERRA AZUL team as Volunteer Marine Wildlife Guide in 2019, enjoying out at sea with wildlife, accompanying and informing visitors, and collecting field imagery and data for local Cetaceans and Sea Turtles Research & Conservation projects.

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