CaribWhale Member Frequently Asked Questions

What is CaribWhale?

CaribWhale is an association of Caribbean whale watch operators and supporters who are committed to responsible ecotourism. It is a voluntary recognition, conservation, and education program with established criteria that members follow in order to provide the most enriching and safest possible whale watching experience for both passengers and cetaceans. On the most basic level, CaribWhale Operator members are committed to:
Responsible and low-impact viewing practices
Engaging and educational on-board programming
Promoting conservation practices to the public

Why does CaribWhale exist?

Over the last decade, the whale watch industry as a whole has grown in the Caribbean from an $11 million industry in 1998 to $54 million in 20081. CaribWhale was established as a unifying organization to recognize, communicate, establish and monitor responsible conservation-minded whale watching programs.
At its inception, the cetacean watching industry was seen as a zero- impact activity. However, after 20 years of research findings suggest otherwise. Studies have shown that cetacean watching activities can impact the targeted populations by causing behaviour changes, displacing animals from the habitat, and shifting their population parameters. CaribWhale exists to help operators ensure the lowest impact possible on cetaceans while still providing the highest impact on passenger satisfaction.

How does CaribWhale protect cetaceans?

CaribWhale works with operators to minimize the potential of cetacean harassment that may result from irresponsible commercial viewing activities, which may include:
  • High density of boats in a small area
  • Approaching animals too quickly, closely, or from the
    wrong direction
  • Inexperienced vessel operator
  • Lack of awareness about cetacean behavior and
    signs of disturbance.

What are the goals of CaribWhale?

  • Organize whale watch operators in the Caribbean in order to promote a unified voice for responsible, conservation focused ecotourism
  • Support members by providing a consistent framework and standard for modeling and communicating cetacean conservation through responsible operator practices.
  • Collect data on whale sightings to further scientific research and understanding of cetaceans.
  • Empower members whale watch clients and the public to learn and teach others about whale conservation through educational training, materials, experiences and events.
  • Represent members through media and publications as the voice for responsible whale watch operators in the Caribbean and around the world.
  • Protect cetaceans by encouraging members to minimize impacts that whale watching may have.

How are CaribWhale operators different from others?

CaribWhale is a voluntary recognition program to ensure the highest caliber of whale watching operators, to minimize harassment to cetaceans and increase passenger satisfaction and knowledge of responsible cetacean viewing practices. CaribWhale members are committed to being the best in the whale watch industry.

Why should I become involved with CaribWhale?

CaribWhale member whale watching companies are globally recognized for their responsible operations, exemplary guides, and high degree of passenger satisfaction. Members receive benefits such as free educational materials to enhance passenger experience, marketing via corporate partnerships and priority booking for research and education charters.

How do I take part in or support CaribWhale?

Whether you are a whale watch operator, a small business owner or even a Grade 5 class, CaribWhale has a membership level for anyone invested in conserving cetaceans today and for years to come.
There are 3 different membership levels for CaribWhale: Operator, Supporter or Friend. Please go to to find the right membership category for you or your organization.