February 22, 2016
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Greg Kaufman, Featured Speaker at
International Meeting on Whalewatching 

Greg Kaufman, Founder & Executive Director of Pacific Whale Foundation, will be delivering a presentation and participating in a panel discussion on Whale and Dolphin Watching Tourism at an International Whaling Commission (IWC) Workshop to be held February 24-26, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Workshop is hosted by the Sri Lankan Government and is supported by the Australian Government in partnership with the IWC, Sri Lankan Institute of Policy Studies, and Murdoch University’s Cetacean Research Unit.

The Workshop seeks to bring together governmental policy-makers, dignitaries, and scientists to share experiences and expertise in managing dolphin and whalewatching operations. A main objective of the Workshop is to promote whalewatching and coastal tourism as an important “Blue Economy” sector that can support regional economies, create jobs, and protect marine environments. The Workshop’s focus is on the Indian Ocean Region (IORA) and the invited nations include: Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Sultanate of Oman, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

Greg Kaufman, along with IWC Secretariat Dr. Simon Brockington, are the only confirmed presenters from outside the region. Kaufman was selected for these high-level proceedings based on his extensive expertise as a whale researcher and over 40 years of leadership experience as a whalewatching and social enterprising pioneer. Kaufman is a co-author of the IWC’s recommended “General Principles for Whale Watching” and contributing author to the IWC’s “5 Year Strategic Plan for Whale Watching 2011 - 2016”. He recently led dolphin and whalewatch training workshops in the Sultanate of Oman, and co-chaired the United Nations Environmental Programme’s Regional Workshop on Marine Mammal Watching in the Wider Caribbean Region in 2011.  

Kaufman serves as the international whalewatch representative to the IWC’s Conservation Committee and is an Invited Participant to the IWC’s Scientific Committee. Kaufman is also a contributing member of the Scientific Committee’s Whalewatch, Southern Hemisphere Whales, and Human-Induced Mortality subcommittees. In Hawaii, Kaufman is the whalewatch representative on the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s Advisory Council.

Greg Kaufman is scheduled to present at the IWC Workshop on the topic of “Best Practice Approaches to Build Sustainable Whale and Dolphin Watching Tourism” scheduled for February 24. Joining Kaufman in this session is Dr. Jillian Grayson representing the Australian Government and Dr. Simon Brockington of the IWC. 

“I am pleased to discuss with member countries of the Indian Ocean Region the developmental phases of whalewatching, the IWC’s guiding principles, how regional associations can benefit the industry, and share how PWF was able to create an economic renaissance in coastal Ecuador harnessing the power of whalewatching,” Kaufman said.

Kaufman will also participate in a panel discussion scheduled for February 25 on the key challenges and opportunities faced by governments with respect to whale and dolphin watching tourism. As part of this panel, Kaufman will develop recommendations for the IWC on the creation and implementation of an IORA Whale and Dolphin Watching Tourism Network, the purpose of which would be to build regional cooperation among IORA countries and their partners in the public, private and community sectors.

For further details on the Workshop, please visit

For more information on Greg Kaufman or Pacific Whale Foundation, please visit
Media Contact:
Alison Stewart, Communications Specialist
Pacific Whale Foundation
(808) 283-9822
Copyright © 2016 Pacific Whale Foundation, All rights reserved.

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