Azores Adventures – Futurismo

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WCA Partnership

Investing in the protection of marine wildlife is something we take very seriously at Futurismo. That is why we partner up with international organisations that promote the preservation of our sea friends, namely the World Cetacean Alliance. Learn more about how we daily contribute to a better world for whales and dolphins.

The voice for cetaceans

Futurismo is proud to be a Partner of the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA): the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Together we represent more than 80 Partners in 25 countries worldwide and we are expanding rapidly.

Through cooperation, the Partners of the World Cetacean Alliance aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued health and survival.

The WCA is committed to preventing all cetaceans from being held in captivity except for rehabilitation and release purposes. We are also developing and implementing new concepts for responsible whale and dolphin watching with the potential to inspire and educate millions of people. Finally, we aim to expand the global community of people who care for cetaceans, have a desire to learn about them, and respect them.

A meaningful partnership

In addition to a common interest in the well-being of our magnificent ocean creatures, Futurismo started collaborating with the World Cetacean Alliance in the hope that this international partnership would give visibility to our company and the Whale Watching activity in the Azores - and also promote our company as a Responsible Whale Watching company.

One of our goals is also to create a connection within whale watching societies - here to value the history of whales in the Azores - from hunting whales to watching them. We want our story to be recognized and valued by local communities. At Futurismo, we also wish to bring benefits to our local communities through this type of tourism.

Before being called the World Cetacean Alliance, it was named “Planet Whale”. And we have been collaborating with them for so many years now.

Benefits for Futurismo and for science

Responsible whale watching operator status

Futurismo is officially recognized worldwide as responsible whale watching operator. Indeed, we received the precious certification by the World Cetacean Alliance and we are now one of the few companies considered as Responsible regarding the observation of cetaceans. This is an honor and we are so proud to have made it to this title.

Our company believes in sustainable tourism, a form of showing our underwater wonders to travellers from all around the world in an eco-friendly way, always keeping in mind to respect the animals. In order to be declared Responsible, we follow strict guidelines to find, approach and observe the animals in their natural habitat.

Connecting with an international organisation

Communication is important between partners, mostly when you are not located in the same country. In 2014, Futurismo’s marine biologist Miranda van der Linde became the official representative of the company for the WCA’s Working Group on Responsible Whale Watching. This role involves working with some of the world’s most responsible whale watching companies to raise the standards of this activity everywhere around the globe. Partners of the Working Group for Responsible Whale Watching are developing initiatives to share scientific data, develop new standards for whale watching, and encourage tourists to get active on the issue of fishing net bycatch and entanglement.

Also, we receive monthly WCA news through their newsletter and our private communication with them.

Futurismo at international scientific events

We participate in events and congresses worldwide promoted first by WCA - one of them is the Whale Festival. Every year, Futurismo's staff travels to different countries to get to know important scientists, discuss with researchers and defenders of the whales.

These events and congresses made it possible to promote Futurismo not only taking into account the responsible whale watching activity part, but also the research, divulgation and education that has always been done. Futurismo was even invited a few years ago to go to South Africa to talk about the work we do.

Working with promising marine biologists

We absolutely love hiring people from all over the world. Having the opportunity to hire a multicultural staff is crucial to have diverse points of view. And we know it well as many colleagues come from several countries around Europe such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany, and so on.

At Futurismo, we already had several students doing internships with us who came through the WCA. In this sense too, our partnership is so meaningful for young people to learn with us on the field and for us to learn from them, new ways of doing and thinking.

Current goals of the WCA include

1. Set, distribute and police minimum standards for responsible whale watching for all Whale and Dolphin Watch Partners of the WCA

2. As part of a longer-term plan to look at the potential for a global accreditation scheme for responsible whale and dolphin watching, review 200 whale and dolphin watching videos from the perspective of whether the cetaceans are exhibiting ‘choice and control’. Present review findings at WhaleFest’s WCA meeting.

3. Trial a joint educational initiative in which Partners across the world share the theme of ‘nets’ – bycatch and entanglement; with associated positive actions for customers to take.

4. Execute a series of cross-promotional activities using social media

5. Create a database of whale watchers interested in news on responsible whale watching.

For more information on the World Cetacean Alliance visit http://worldcetaceanalliance.org/

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