Dolphin and whale watching – usually consisting of boat trips to see a range of marine life – makes an important contribution to numerous economies and is emerging as an industry in many other countries.

The income that it brings represents an economic opportunity for many communities around the world. However, the rapid growth of the number of whale watching organisations and the size of vessels used is known to affect cetaceans behaviour, migratory patterns and breathing cycles.

Our standard helps operators assess threats, promote best practices and support a responsible and sustainable industry.

The Standard

The Friend of the Sea Dolphin and Whale Watching standard seeks to minimise unintentional disturbance through key principles of conduct.

The Friend of the Sea criteria for Sustainable Dolphin and Whale Watching require:

  • maximum number of vessels in caution and approach zones;
  • maximum approaching distance;
  • training programs for operators and crew.


Would you like to receive a quotation for Friend of the Sea’s audit and royalties to use our logo?
Please fill out the online Preliminary Information Form (PIF):

(*) will be available for download soon.
  • All information will be kept strictly confidential and implies NO commitment on your company’s part.
  • Friend of the Sea's certification is voluntary and NOT mandatory to gain access to markets.
  • The application process is NOT discriminatory on size, scale, management and minimum number of operators.
  • Friend of the Sea is a NGO and it strives to make participation in the audits affordable for all companies.
  • Please contact us for more information on Government funding which might be available in your Country for sustainability certifications: