The proposed Whale Heritage Site covers an area of land between the Basque ports of Baiona (France) and Bilbao (Spain), and all the waters that can be reached from those ports in one day of navigation in the Bay of Biscay.

Cetacean watching

Looking for an alternative to the progressive decline of fishing activity in its ports and fostering links to a sustainable and respectful natural environment and economic activities, ten years ago, a group of naturalists and enthusiastic marine experts proposed to the Department of Tourism of the City of Santurce, to organize one day trips for watching seabirds, whales and dolphins. Before each activity, the travellers attend a seminar where they are informed about the conservation situation of the species they are about to watch, their characteristics and behaviours, including the dangers of human activities.


Species diversity in the area is exceptional and includes Sperm Whale, Fin Whale, Cuvier’s Beaked Whale, Sowerby’s Beaked Whale, Northern Bottlenose Whale, Long-finned Pilot Whale, Risso’s Dolphin, Bottlenose Dolphin, Striped Dolphin, Common Dolphin, and Orca.

Motivation for becoming a WHS

Nowadays there is an increasing desire by the public to interact and learn about cetaceans. We must work together, in a global effort, to convert this demand as a tool, a real world movement, to protect the oceans and their creatures, in such a manner that the touristic activities related never damage the natural balance.

Lead Applicant: