PRACTICE PAGE: our mission

Our mission is to promote ocean harmony between humans, whales and all inhabitants of our oceans

Ocean harmony involves the sustainable and respectful use of our oceans, so that both humans and whales can thrive. By studying the response of whale populations to human activity and sharing this work with the public, we aim to encourage conservation action towards this goal.

We cannot skim the surface and hope to protect an entire ocean

The Whale Wise approach
We aim to conduct and share our research in a transparent, accessible and fair way, working towards effective conservation for all. Hopefully, by incorporating these three principles in our work, we can make this happen.

We study the interactions between whale populations and human activity. Whales are under threat from our environmental disturbance, and understanding the nature of this threat is key to finding effective solutions. In particular, we are interested in allowing productive industries continue whilst protecting the welfare and population health of marine mammals. By using novel field methods and modelling techniques, we also hope to make real contributions to the scientific community.

Our research process:

  • Identify a potential source of disturbance
  • Conduct fieldwork to document behavioural, physiological and population-level responses to this activity
  • Analyse these data to deduce the presence and extent of disturbance
  • Design solutions from these results, towards sustainable use of our oceans and protection of marine life

It is important to remember that not all human actions represent a threat to wildlife. Placing the blame on a group of people without justification is unfair and does nothing to help our cause.

If we want to make a difference, sharing our work with the public is essential. Not only does this allow us to spread the word about our research, but it also allows others to provide feedback on what we do. We want Whale Wise to act for the benefit of others- this requires our results to be accessible to everybody.

A large part of this exchange of information involves telling stories- stories of our research, the whales and the people we meet, and where we are heading in the future. To this end, we are making the following efforts to engage with others:

  • Documenting our story through photos, videos and written stories
  • Organising local events and talks at our fieldwork sites to encourage a celebration of whales
  • Presenting our work at public science festivals and scientific conferences
  • Running, our whale blog and social media accounts
  • We are currently working towards a documentary about our work

If you have any ideas or comments about our public engagement, we would love to hear from you.

Through research and engagement, our ultimate goal is conservation of marine life and its welfare, for our sake and simply because it is the right thing to do. Surely, that is reason enough.

To translate our work into conservation action, our priority is to share our work with all relevant groups. If we study the impacts of whale watching, we discuss our research with whale watching companies. To make a genuine and fair difference, it is pointless blaming and judging others- alienation is never the answer. In this way, we hope to encourage the development of policies which can actually be followed by those affected.

Our work so far
Current focus: whale watching in Iceland
Aims and objectives
Current focus
Research methods