- Written by Antonis Petropoulos - Ecoclub
"Guidelines need to be specific and adapted not only to cetaceans but also to specific species and/or areas. A fin whale will not react the same way to a boat as a group of pilot whales or a Ganges river dolphin...The more precise a guideline is, the better."
Ivan Martin was interested in travelling and wildlife watching from a very young age and this interest determined his studies. He holds a Masters in Interdisciplinary Tourism Studies from the University of Lausanne and a Masters in Animal Law and Society from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has also received training by the Swiss Cetacean Society (SCS) to conduct marine sea expeditions in the Mediterranean Sea, to collect data on the cetaceans and the marine debris including micro plastics. In 2018 he travelled around India in search of a good marine conservation project and thus ended up working as an intern for Terra Conscious, a responsible travel enterprise focusing on marine conservation in Goa. The experience gave him many ideas and insights on the impacts of dolphin tourism and when he returned to Switzerland, he proposed that SCS co-operate with Terra Conscious; thus the idea of an ecolabel for dolphin boat operators was born. Ivan is now coordinating the SCS ecolabel project with the assistance of Terra Conscious, raising funds for the project through crowdfunding, and building capacity and environmental awareness by training Goa's and Odisha's dolphin boat operators.
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