American Cetacean Society Whale Lecture-Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
September 24, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
When the whales win, everyone wins: How a whale study in Mexico transformed a community
by Katherina Audley
Barra de Potosí in SW Mexico is a little known jewel, and it’s at a tipping point. Humpback whales breed there every winter and resident dolphins delight visitors, but before Katherina Audley arrived, fishing was almost the only local industry. For the past six years, she has been working to change that through cooperative research, ecotourism, and community-driven conservation.
Her organization, the Whales of Guerrero, has been conducting collaborative whale and dolphin research in Barra de Potosí since 2013. With local fisheries on the verge of collapse, they have supported newly formed ecotourism coops to provide a new way for local people to make a living, and trained 75 boat owners from across the region in whale safe boating. Their environmental education programs have reached over 3500 kids in 25 schools.
Learn about the 16 species of marine mammals identified so far in this region, how a community of fishermen became committed whale protectors and a special village in Mexico where all the resident kids know their local whales by name. Katherina will also share her top tips on how to empower and inspire communities to become marine conservationists and lessons learned along the way.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia