Legal Aspects

Dolphin watching is an industry that hundreds of families rely on for their livelihood. However, the lack of rules and regulations is jeopardising the sustainability of this type of income.

In June 2006, the Tourism Authority came forward with guidelines for the Dolphin Watching industry.

In August and September 2006, the MMCS submitted two reports to the Tourism Authority:

  • An initial assessment report of the project "Sustainable Management of the Dolphin Watching industry in Mauritius" (A. Cadinouche)
  • An evaluation of the Dolphin Watching industry in the western region between August and September 2006 (A. Cadinouche). Please click here to view the PDF (in French). 

These reports describe the problems that are linked to the Dolphin Watching industry in Mauritius and the consequences that these problems could generate in the short and long term.

Further to the submission of these reports, the Tourism Authority offered its support to the MMCS for the establishment of a Steering Committee named "Dolphin Watching". The aim of this Steering Committee was to regularly bring together the different participants of the Dolphin Watching industry (Government representatives, NGOs, Tour Operator representatives) in order to discuss the decisions to be taken for the proper regulation of the activity.

Being aware of the rapid increase of the industry, the authorities decided in March 2008 to move forward by setting up a veritable regulation. This process has taken much longer than expected, finally being implemented in March 2013.

Throughout this period, while conducting the research, MMCS has continued to run awareness campaigns and training workshops for dolphin watching operators, hotel staff, schools, tourists and the general public.