Algoa Bay has been awarded the Whale Heritage Site accolade, making South Africa the only country in the world with two accredited sites.
Whale Heritage Sites are a global accreditation scheme developed by the World Cetacean Alliance and supported by World Animal Protection, that recognise a community´s commitment to respect and celebrate whales, dolphins and other cetaceans.
Algoa Bay joins four Whale Heritage Sites: Hervey Bay in Australia; Tenerife-La Gomera Marine area in Southwest Tenerife, Spain; Dana Point, California US, and the Bluff in Durban, South Africa.
With this accreditation, Algoa Bay will provide the travel industry with another way to identify and support sustainable sites and create a location for communities to celebrate marine culture, heritage and biodiversity.
Whale Heritage Site status also provides tourists with an easy way to select responsible whale and dolphin watching destinations; places where people can experience these magnificent animals in their natural habitat and in an authentic and respectful way.
Algoa Bay is a hidden gem in South Africa for whale and dolphin watching, and other wildlife viewing.
They have the largest breeding colony of African penguins in the world. Other resident species include bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins, Bryde’s whales and Cape gannets.
One unique aspect in Algoa Bay is the sheer number of Indo-Pacific Bottlenose dolphins, with schools of up to 800 individual dolphins encountered on marine tours.
A longstanding scientific research project established since the 1990s, estimates there to be approximately 30,000 resident bottle-nose dolphins.
“The accreditation of Algoa Bay as a new Whale Heritage Site is immensely important in the protection of wildlife in South Africa.
It showcases a viable, sustainable alternative to cruel attractions like captive dolphin venues and other wildlife entertainment activities.
The site will also help to spotlight tour operators who offer tourists a wonderful experience seeing whales and dolphins in the wild, where they belong, while protecting the welfare of marine wildlife,” said Nick Stewart, Global Head of Campaigns at World Animal Protection.
Photos: Raggy Charters