3 March 2004
Deputy Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi will open the first International Whale Watching Workshop in Cape Town on Thursday.
The workshop aims to develop international scientific advisory frameworks for the proper management of whale watching globally, to ensure that the negative impacts of eco-tourism are minimised.
Department spokesperson Zodumo Mbuli said particular focus would be on coastal communities living within whale-watching spots, and their involvement in the management of such areas.
The workshop is supported by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), and will see scientists and managers working together for the first time to try to find solutions to issues around sustainable whale watching.
National and international participants include marine resource and conservation managers from both governments and NGOs, with approximately 12 countries attending the workshop.
South Africa was chosen as host country because of its experience in shark cage tourism as well as whale watching both in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.