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Education and research

Whale watching operators in The Bluff have a unique collaboration with WILDOCEANS, who manage school programmes to educate local children about protecting the planet and cetaceans. WILDOCEANS also run the WhaleTime project, encouraging local ‘citizen scientists’ to contribute photos of humpback whales to an identification catalogue that will help researchers to understand more about the whale population.

The WhaleTime guides project also collaborates with the Port Natal Maritime Museum, the KZN Coastal College, and boat-based whale watching operators to train new tour guides, giving them practical skills in the workplace and creating employment opportunities.

The WESSA Treasure Beach Science Centre has recently been registered as a Coastal Science Centre, offering educational programmes to schools and universities. The Cetacean Project will form part of this, with whale watching scopes, ID guides, and migration monitoring activities offered onsite.

WESSA On WHEELS (WOW) programme is a mobile classroom that travels along the eThekwini Beach Front, meeting school and university groups, and conducting curriculum-based fieldwork and monitoring programmes on the Coastal and Marine Environment. This includes the use of whale watching sites to observe, identify and research cetaceans in the area. The programme is run in collaboration with the eThekwini Education and Awareness unit.