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Formation Whale-Watching
  • Courses > Whale-Watching
  • Whale-Watching operators course

    In July 2014, ACCOBAMS and the Pelagos Sanctuary noted the implementation of a certification allowing whale-watching operators to stand out through their environmental commitments to a responsible activity. This training course, along with other requirements, gives access to the High Quality Whale-Watching® certification for a sustainable whale-watching (registered by ACCOBAMS and improved with the Pelagos Sanctuary).

    However, the course is open and accessible to all sea professionals wishing to gain knowledge and skills about the Mediterranean Sea in general and the conservation of cetaceans in particular.

    Souffleurs d’Ecume is mandated by ACCOBAMS to train French operators wishing to access the certification. The training programme is organised as follows:

    Title Theme Hours
    Marine Ecology The Mediterranean: formation, physiography, hydrography, currentology. 2
    The Mediterranean: productivity and trophic networks, species and ecological specificities. 2
    Species observable at sea (avifauna and ichtyofauna): identification and ecological notions. 2
    Cetology Palaeontology, physiology and adaptations of cetaceans. 1,5
    Identification criteria of the cetacean species of the Black and Mediterranean Seas. 1,5
    Ecology (biology, distribution, population…) and conservation status of the cetacean species of the Mediterranean and Black Seas (Bp, Pm, Gm, Gg, Sc, Dd, Pp + rare and occasional species). 3
    Interests of the research, databases on cetaceans and teaching of a scientific observation protocol applicable by the operators. 2
    Human interactions List of disturbances linked to human activities (interactions with fisheries, noise, ship strikes, pollutions, climate change). Existing and tested solutions within Pelagos. 2
    Presentation of the stakes linked to the whale-watching activity (origins, values, disturbances). 1
    Code of Good Conduct for the observation of cetaceans and signs of disturbance to consider during approaches 1
    State of knowledge of the whale-watching activity in the Mediterranean Sea. 1
    Laws and management of the marine environment Cetacean-specific regulations applicable in the Mediterranean Sea and presentation of the ACCOBAMS and the Pelagos Sanctuary. 2
    Presentation of the stranding surveillance network. 2
    Specifications of the whale-watching certification (=synthesis of the training. Includes a part that reminds the messages to convey on board). 1
    Evaluation Evaluation of the candidates 2

    The certification guidelines provide that a trained person is on board during the whale-watching trips. The first training session, supported by the French part of the Pelagos Sanctuary and ACCOBAMS was organised in Porquerolles between the 2nd and the 5th of April 2012. The next training session taked place from the 07th to the 10th of April 2015 with support from the NGO MedPAN and the Port-Cros national Park.

    The training activity of Souffleurs d’Ecume is recorded under the number 93 83 04204 83 (this record to the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region prefect is not worth approval of the State).

    For further information

    List of certified operators.

    Operators List
    Meet the cetaceans
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    Sanctuaire Pelagos


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