Training Guides and Boat Captains in Ecuador

Since August until the first days of September we have had the opportunity at Pacific Whale Foundation Ecuador to do some capacity building and to learn from National Park (NP) rangers, NP guides and boat captains. Under coordination of the Ministry of Environment and the NP Machalilla we organised 3 talks directed at manoeuvering vessels correctly in presence of whales, at sharing our last scientific results, but most importantly to provide information and building capacity for guides and boat captains of the Machalilla NP.

All 3 talks together brought approximately 90 people together, including NP rangers with many years of experience as well as new ones who will contribute in the future to the protection of the marine area of the Machalilla NP. It was a real pleasure to have the guides with all their questions with us, as well as the silent captains whose tongue was loosened after a series of funny environmental role plays.

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IWC’s 65th meeting receives powerful visual message

“Migration towards Prosperity” was been presented to the 65th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission and received an enthusiastic response.  The video sends a strong message from Ecuador and the Buenos Aires Group that whales are a more beneficial as a living resource rather than being hunted.

The video documentary tells the story of  how a small, poor fishing village in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador has built a vibrant economic future based on sustainable eco-tourism through whalewatching. Their efforts reenforce the IWC’s 5 year strategic whalewatching plan in favor of  protecting whales and the ocean environment.

Field Report From Ecuador

The small coastal village of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador kicked off the whale season with A colorful celebration of El Festival de las Ballenas, honoring a   sixteen year tradition of colorful dance, song and culture. This annual event brings community, local politicians and various organizations together to celebrate the presence of the Humpback Whales.

The whale festival also marks the official launch of the whalewatch season and what locals call a “prosperous time”. From  the first whalewatching tours some fifteen years ago this quiet community has benefited from steady economic growth.

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Field Report From Ecuador

Day One:

After four planes, misplaced luggage and countless Sudoku puzzles I arrived  my final destination, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador some  5,321 miles from Maui, Hawaii. I am here to document a two-day whale festival and Pacific Whale Foundation’s 11 year  presence in a growing Whalewatch destination.

I plan to capture the transformation of a small fishing to an epic whalewatching destination. I also want to highight conservation efforts for sustainable eco-tours and communal participation and the local celebration to protect humpback whales and the Machilla Marine Park.