Whale Conservationist

As oceanic mammals, the value and benefits of whales is often not apparent, however they are the unsung heroes of our ecosystems and are revered and held highly within many cultures and societies. Whales play a key role in atmospheric regulation and maintaining productivity of multiple trophic levels, enhancing primary productivity as well as being key balances in the trophic levels as both top predators and prey.

If you would like to get more out of whale watching then the whale conservationist course is your first step to learning about the life history and ecology of whales and make you aware of the on-going threats there face. The course will introduce you to current conservation efforts and equip you with the basic skills to contribute to photo identification research. 


  • Minimum age 16


  • Understand about Whale biology
  • Understand how to take a whale survey and record data
  • Understand the importance of Photo_ID on whale research and how to collect scientifically usable ID data
  • Understand the current threats facing whales and what can be done to help protecting them
  • Understand the scientific Whale research taking place in the Azores and how to contribute to whale studies around the globe


  • Attend the Whale Ecology and Research Lecture
  • Complete the Whale Conservationist Exam and score at least 80%
  • Attend the practical briefing prior to the observation boat trip
  • Complete at least 1 boat trips to attempt to find and observe cetaceans 
  • If cetaceans are observed, collect relevant data and photographs as per local standards
  • Attend debriefing and data entry

Expected course time: minimum 6 hours, minimum of 2 boat trips

Certification Card

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