Awareness workshop “Towards the development of whale watching responsible activities and pescatourism in Morocco”

The Permanent Secretariat of ACCOBAMS went to Tangier (Morocco) on January 18 and 19, 2018 to lead the awareness workshop of the project “Towards the development of responsible Whale-Watching activities and pescatourism in Morocco”, organized in cooperation with the Fisheries Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forests of Morocco.

Indeed, the Secretariats of ACCOBAMS and GFCM are coordinating, in collaboration with RAC / SPA, a project whose aim is to improve the conservation of endangered marine species, such as cetaceans, sea turtles, birds and promote responsible fishing practices in the Mediterranean.

Given the socio-economic difficulties encountered in fisheries-cetacean interactions, particularly in Morocco and Tunisia, this project aims in particular to promote in these countries, the development of alternative ecotourism activities to reconcile the conservation of endangered marine species and the practice of fishing activity (pescatourism activities, discovery of the marine environment and observation of marine life according to responsible principles and practices).

The objective of this specific workshop in Morocco, which followed the one realized in Tunisia, was to present the activities of whale watching and pescatourism and the stakes related to their development, both in terms of and institutional to ensure respectful and responsible practices and to consider alternatives for impacted fishing activities.

This workshop generated a great interest from all the actors present: the members of the National Steering Committee and the members of the Regional Sub-Committee set up by the Maritime Fisheries Department as part of the project, the representatives of national administrations and involved in the marine leisure activities and the operators involved in the project. All agreed on future collaboration and the need for national consultation to define the terms of reference for the development of this type of activity in Morocco.