Whale-watching has become more and more popular in the recent years all around Iceland. With the increasing popularity question arose on what possible affects the whale watching vessels may have on cetaceans. Little is known about it yet, but research is going on to investigate a potential affect.
As a precautionary measurement the Icelandic association IceWhale has developed a Code of Conduct to promote responsible whale watching. The aim can be summarized as:
- Minimizing impact on cetacean for the future and the sustainability of whale watching operation in Iceland
- Ensuring the best possible encounter, both for animal welfare and passenger enjoyment
- Increasing development, understanding and awareness of appropriate practices when watching cetaceans
Details of the Code of Conduct can be seen at the image below.
While these code applies for vessels during whale watching, some whale watching companies take even one step further and offer their vessels as platform for marine biologists studying the behavioral impact of whale watching operators.