Celebrating Year of the Whale in the Pacific Islands

This year, SPREP is celebrating whales, the ocean voyagers of the Pacific IslandsThe Pacific Island region is home to more than half the world's species of whales and dolphins, including some of the least known. It’s therefore great news to report that Pacific Island nations that make up the members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme (SPREP) have agreed to focus their activities in 2016 and 2017 on a targeted regional campaign on whales.

As an SPREP partner, the International Fund for Animal Welfare is proud to support the ‘Protect Pacific Whales – Ocean Voyagers’ campaign, which provides an opportunity for SPREP and all its members and partners to celebrate these magnificent creatures and raise awareness about whale and ocean conservation. 

As both cultural icons and sentinels of ocean health, whales are an integral part of life in the Pacific Islands. In a region where the people are so dependent on the ocean, the problems whales face as ocean-dwellers will ultimately have an impact upon people, too.

The programme of work that is envisaged for the Protect Pacific Whales campaign is an ambitious combination of scientific research, training and capacity-building, exchange of information, and cultural and artistic celebration.

Only by working together can we protect whales in the face of emerging threats to them today, and ensure Pacific Island communities are able to benefit from the presence of whales by the development of best-practice guidelines for whale watching.

Please join us in celebrating whales and their place in Pacific cultures.


For more information on the Pacific Year of the Whale, visit the SPREP website (English and French versions available): https://www.sprep.org/yearofthewhale

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jimmiel Mandima at IFAW
Deputy Vice President of Conservation
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime