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Welcome to the official website of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines National Trust

The National Trust 's plans to save SVG's Humpback Whales

One of the National Trust’s key commitments is to the natural heritage of our islands and the seas around it. We are blessed to have the gigantic North Atlantic humpback whale passing through our waters during the early months of the year, as they migrate south to escape winter with their young. These magnificent creatures are still hunted by the whalers of Bequia, with the permission of the International Whaling Commission as a form of aboriginal subsistence whaling.

The National Trust has developed a project to promote the non lethal use of this marine resource. The project valued at approximately US$28,500 is funded entirely by members and friends of the National Trust and aims to work with the whaling community of Bequia to demonstrate that whale watching is an economically viable alternative.

iron duke

Above: Youngsters getting ready to sail the Iron Duke, the oldest whaling ship in Bequia, now used for sailing lessons

The project includes: public awareness about the North Atlantic humpback whale and other such cetaceans in our waters; selecting five persons from Bequia to visit the Dominican Republic in January 2013 to learn about whale watching there through a firsthand experience; restoring old whale boats for new alternative uses and finally setting up a cooperative to monetize the use of old whale boats for new alternatives such as teaching sailing and whale watching.

The cooperative would seek to promote traditional skills such as boat building, sailing and navigation thus preserving dying traditions whilst also preserving the natural heritage.

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