The SVGEF, in partnership with Yanagil Fund, launched two Whale and Wildlife tour boats ‘My Peace’ and ‘Alex Tours’ in Barrouallie last weekend. The ceremony was moving when former whaler Lennox Stephens spoke about his decision to stop whaling and his gratitude to the SVGEF. It was also moving to hear Kirk Stephens speak about his visit to Argentina where he saw sights only seen before in National Geographic.
Also speaking at the ceremony Executive Director Louise Mitchell congratulated these two entrepreneurs of Barrouallie for being the pioneers in the whale watching industry in Barroullie, saying that the move towards whale watching will yield much greater economic benefits for the community. She further said that having these boats operating out of the Barroullie communitty will provide much greater access for the children of Baroullie and surrounding areas to experience the beauty of the ocean and all its creatures first hand. She said “as humans we are the custodians of nature,” and getting to know nature better is encouraged by the SVGEF so that we can be better custodians. After the ceremony the audience was invited to go out on a short boat trip and within the first ten minutes, passengers saw short finned pilot whales. Some 30 persons attended the ceremony and the excitement was palpable amongst the supportive audience, despite it being a controversial move in a community where whaling is a strong part of their cultural heritage.
The boats are designed for the calm Leeward coast of St Vincent, where humpbacks, spermwhales, and spinner dolphins have been sighted. The Leeward coasts also boasts spectacular snorkelling so passengers can make snorkelling part of their day tour.
Both Kirk and Lennox were trained in responsible whale watching in Penisula Valdez by Fundacion Cethus.
Richmond Vale Academy, an educational institution aimed at combatting climate change, which is close to Barrouallie has agreed to give full support to the project. This project is part of the thrust of SVGEF to promote sustainable tourism. Please spread the word and take your family out on a tour if you’re visiting.