SABBWWA was formed in 1998 as an Association to represent the interests of the South African Boat Based Whale Watching industry, at the same time as Whale Watching was officially launched under the Permit system granted by Marine and Coastal Management (MCM).

SABBWWA is the recognized industrial body for Boat Based Whale Watching in terms of the Marine Living Resources Act, Section 8(1) Act 108 of 1998.

Through a nominal membership fee, the official Permit holding Boat Based Whale Watching operators use SABBWWA as their official channel for negotiations and liason with government on issues relating not only to marine mammals, but other marine environmental and tourism aspects as well.

The Association is a non-profit organization, and has no other function but to represent the industry and look after the interests of its members. The Chairman and committee are elected each year, and offer their services on a voluntary basis.

MISSION STATEMENT OF SABBWWA 

To create a self-regulatory model of a clearly defined and controversial tourism sector, in accordance with the basic guidelines for Responsible Tourism and the   development and adherence to Best Practice principles.  Through the promotion and involvement of communities and individuals from all racial groups, care for the environment, and the professional efforts of its members, the Association proves that South Africa can compete with the best in the world.

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