Whale SENSE

Whale SENSE is a voluntary education and recognition program offered to commercial whale watching companies in the (Greater Atlantic and Alaska) by NOAA Fisheries Service and Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Awarded Environmental Merit Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016  

whale sense logo            US Environmental Protection Agency logo 

WDC has long supported responsible commercial whale watching as an alternative to whaling. The program was developed in collaboration with the Northeast whale watching community. Whale SENSE is a collaborative, voluntary program recognizing commercial whale watching companies committed to a higher standard of whale watching.  

“I have always believed that seeing endangered and protected species in the wild is a privilege and that there should be universal standards for viewing them.  I am  proud to have played a major role in defining those standards and to share that the companies that are part of Whale SENSE have set that standard.”  ~ Regina Asmutis-SIlvia, WDC-NA Executive Director.

Participating companies agree to:

  • Stick to responsible whale watching guidelines.
  • Educate naturalists, captains, and passengers to have SENSE while watching whales.
  • Notify appropriate networks of whale problems (ex. injured or entangled whales).
  • Set an example for other boaters for responsible whale watching practices.
  • Encourage ocean stewardship.

Participating companies are required to train their staff each year on the Whale SENSE program requirements, common species and their behaviors, responsible whale watching practices, and applicable laws and guidelines. Upon successful completion of training and evaluation, Whale SENSE businesses receive materials identifying them as active Whale SENSE participants featuring the Whale SENSE logo and current calendar year.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the Whale SENSE logo when booking a commercial whale watching trip!

Find a Whale SENSE Whale Watch, or learn more about the Whale SENSE program.

You can help this program grow, giving people the opportunity to see the majesty of whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. Donate today.


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