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Handbook to popularise whale watching

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IANS Bonn
Are you interested to know more about whales, here is a handbook that aims to popularise its watching.
Two inter-governmental organisations have launched a comprehensive handbook to encourage best practice in the growing whale watching industry, it was announced here on Tuesday.
An estimated $2.1 billion is spent by 13 million people who go whale watching each year.
The free online resource provides information on species, advice on locations and guidance for interested whale watchers regarding responsible behaviour.
The joint initiative by the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and the UN Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) has resulted in the online Whale Watching Handbook which offers comprehensive, impartial and free advice.
It provides periodically updated country and species information, case studies, and management advice and has been developed in consultation with governments, industry leaders and conservationists around the world.
Currently with over 100 pages of searchable, cross-indexed online content, the handbook is divided into easily navigable sections according to user-type.
Designed for use on mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers, the handbook includes a variety of resources for downloading.
Melanie Virtue, Head of the Aquatic Species Team at the CMS Secretariat, said: "It is a great step forward to have such a user-friendly tool for tour operators and visitors alike. I hope it will inform potential whale watchers to find operators who meet the highest environmental standards."
Key features include an interactive world map which enables users to access information about whale watching in 25 featured countries.
A section with annotated illustrations helps users learn more about individual species and identify them in the water.
Species fact-sheets and a database of over 300 peer-reviewed articles provide in-depth content.
The starting point for the handbook is the latest scientific understanding of potential whale watching impacts on individual animals and the long-term health of populations.
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as CMS or the Bonn Convention, aims to conserve aquatic, terrestrial and avian migratory species throughout their range.
--IANS
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First Published: Oct 30 2018 | 9:40 AM IST

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