Some years ago Deborah Burton's father, former-whaler John Burton, developed a relationship with the Lamalerans, the last remaining whalers who hunt sperm whales by hand. Their conversations were focussed on exploring ways to help the community develop and John offered to help in this effort. Deborah visited Lamalera in July 2007 to raise the possibility of whale and dolphin watching, and to that end, the community supported the idea to bring a whale-watch workshop to the island. Deborah joined with Erich Hoyt, a world expert on whale watching, to organise the workshop. The Lamalera Project, funded to date by Global Ocean with WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, Humane Society International, the Greenpeace Educational Trust and the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED), offers an opportunity for the people of Lamalera to develop a community-owned, sustainable whale and dolphin watching company as part of a larger effort towards self-reliance for this remote island community.

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The Lamalera Project