Whale Heritage Site status will be designated to sites that focus on:
Encouraging Respectful Human-Cetacean Coexistence
The WHS has developed, and seeks to continually improve, a responsible framework managing the coexistence of people and cetaceans, most often through the development of responsible whale and dolphin watching tourism.
The WHS celebrates the close cultural association between cetaceans and people. This can be achieved through the arts, crafts, celebratory events and more.
Environmental, Social and Economic Sustainability
The WHS aims to achieve an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable balance between the natural environment, visitor expectations, and local business and community needs.
Research, Education and Awareness
The WHS recipient has developed, and seeks to continually improve, its commitment towards research, education and awareness.
Each WHS may find its own unique means to satisfy the criteria, appropriate to its local context, including geography, culture, economics, and politics.
In meeting WHS criteria, a candidate site must take into account information relating to the relevant local cetacean populations including their status, numbers, biology, habitat, behaviour, and welfare.
“It has really helped us identify some things we are doing extremely well, but also areas that we could do a little better in.”