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Human-cetacean conflict solutions

In just two generations, the coastal community has progressed from hunting whales to protecting them, and the relationship between humans and cetaceans in this area has evolved to respectful co-existence.

The KZN Whale Heritage Route includes sea-based whale watching as well as land-based viewing, including five viewpoints situated along The Bluff coastline.

The responsible sea-based whale watching industry, which is effectively managed and monitored at a local government level, has helped to raise the profile of The Bluff as a major wildlife tourist destination. 

The government-managed permit system encourages sustainable and respectful whale watching practices through clearly defined guidelines. These guidelines are developed by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) and are enforced by the local contracted government authority – Ezemvelo Kwa-Zulu Natal Wildlife.

Only operators with valid boat-based whale watching permits are allowed to conduct boat tours within the WHA. Permits are granted only if the applicant complies with the boat-based whale watching regulations and the DEA goes through a lengthy application process every 5 years, after which operators meeting the requirements are awarded permits. The only two permitted whale watching operators in the area are required to register with the South African Whale Watching Association.