Why an interactive app like Whappy is crucial for Iceland

We developed this unique app to make it easier for tourists to have a positive impact during their visit to IcelandIceland has experienced a rapid emergence as a top quality whale watching destination, according to Erich Hoyt, a senior research fellow at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Head of WDC’s Global Campaign for Marine Protected Areas and a true guru for the evolution of whale watching.

So it was an honor for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to unveil our newly developed app, called ‘Whappy the Whale Friendly App’ (free to download!) at the two seminars that followed the keynote speech Hoyt delivered.

The seminars were organised by Icewhale specifically for Icelandic stakeholders involved in whale watching and tourism to discuss the latest developments and opportunities in the industry.

We developed this unique app to make it easier for tourists to have a positive impact during their visit to Iceland by making whale friendly choices. The app helps you:

  • find restaurants that don’t serve whale meat,
  • book responsible whale watching tours and buy fun souvenirs,
  • learn more about whale and dolphin species, and
  • upload a picture of yourself making a whale tail in support of the protection of whales.

Whappy is a great addition to the Meet Us Don’t Eat Us campaign as an easy-to-use tool to guide concerned tourists around Iceland with wildlife friendly options.

People are taking notice.

We organised an event for local media for the President of the City Council of Reykjavik Sóley Tómasdóttir, who also wrote an article in the Daily Frettabladid strongly in favour of Faxaflói whale sanctuary. She further showed her support for IFAW and our cause by downloading the app on the spot.

Jon Baldur Hlidberg, the Icelandic artist behind illustrations of whales and dolphins used in Whappy, also joined use. We took the opportunity to thank him by offering a book full of illustrations by a “colleague of his,” a Dutch illustrator of the 16th Century Adriaen Coenen who made the earliest European pictures of whales. 

Yesterday I visited the local businesses which are mentioned in the app to hand out promotional material. When I walked into the shop Isey, two generations were present in the shop, mother and daughter. The daughter had told me last time the shawls they sell are made by her 87-year-old grandmother. I showed them Whappy on my iPhone, and their happy faces while staring at the little screen were priceless.

The daughter walked directly out of the shop to put up a Whappy sticker.

I hope all of you will download and enjoy the app as much as they did…   


Download Whappy on the Apple App store via this link!

And on the Android Play Store here.

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Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation