Maui Business

PWF Founder Kaufman Selected for International Conservation Committee

April 23, 2015, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated April 23, 10:29 AM
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Greg Kaufman, founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. Courtesy photo.

Greg Kaufman, founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. Courtesy photo.

By Maui Now Staff

Pacific Whale Foundation Founder and Executive Director Greg Kaufman has been named to the International Whaling Commission’s Conservation Whalewatch sub-committee. He is one of only two international whale watch industry representatives to be chosen for the two-year position.

The subcommittee’s next meeting is on May 21. 2015, in San Diego, California.

Kaufman also serves as an Invited Participant to the International Whaling Commission’s Scientific Committee.

He also contributes to the subcommittees on whale watching, Southern Hemisphere whales, and environment and human induced mortality.


He serves on the Hawaiian Island Humpback National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee as the whale watch alternate, serves as a contributing member to the Southern Oceans Research Partnership, recently co-led the United Nations Environmental Programme’s Regional Workshop on Marine Mammal Watching in the Wider Caribbean Region, and workshops for best practices for whale and dolphin watching in the Sultanate of Oman.


Kaufman is currently involved in efforts spearheaded by the IWC  to develop a “Five Year Global Plan for Whale-Watching.”

“I am honored to have been chosen to represent the voice of living whales at the IWC,” Kaufman said. “This is a watershed moment for the IWC as it transitions from managing whale stocks for hunting purposes to understanding the economic value and challenges of managing the impacts of watching whales. Today the value of watching whales far outstrips the meager income derived by those nations who continue to hunt whales, rendering the economic need to kills whales obsolete.”

According to the IWC, the scientific committee‘s whale watch subcommittee is committed to “studying the potential impact of repeated whale watching on individual whales, their populations and their habitats. This complex task requires examining both short- and long-term impacts… this ongoing research has led the IWC to develop principles and guidelines for whalewatching which have helped guide the development of whale watching regulations around the world.”


Kaufman has written five books and dozens of scientific and popular articles on whales. As an activist in the international “Save the Whales” movement and a pioneer in non-invasive humpback whale research, he has been a tireless advocate for whales and their ocean habitats worldwide.

Kaufman founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980 with a mission of educating the public from a scientific perspective on the need to save whales and their ocean habitat. Today, Pacific Whale Foundation conducts research, conservation and education programs throughout the world. Pacific Whale Foundation is headquartered in Maui with satellite offices in Australia, Ecuador and Chile.

For more information about Pacific Whale Foundation, go online.

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