Marine Mammals

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Emerged land represents only 1% of French Polynesia’s surface… The 121 islands that compose our 5 archipelagos are surrounded by a huge ocean area full of life. Waters are of such high quality, it attracts numerous marine mammals that you can very easily observe in their natural environment.

The various archipelagos of French Polynesia offer a huge variety of natural areas where all kinds of cetacean populations find space to enjoy life : more than 12 species of dolphins are present in our waters like the Spinner Dolphin, very common in the Society Archipelago, the Spotted Dolphin, frequent in the Marquesas, and the Bottlenose Dolphin, numerous both in the Tuamotu and the Marquesas archipelagos.

790033Many other giants of the sea cruise in the tropical waters of Polynesia like the Humpback Whale, that come back every year from July to October, the Sperm Whale, the Northern Bottlenose Whale, or even the Killer Whale that can be seen in the offing.

In French Polynesia, whales and dolphins enjoy a remarkably preserved environment where human activities remain low, making it a great research area for cetacean scientific studies.

Tourism development oriented on marine activities increased in French Polynesia since 1990. This is often accompanied by an increase in environmental footprints.

On May 13th, 2002 French Polynesia’s Ministry of the Environment created the “Marine Mammal Sanctuary of French Polynesia”.

In 2010, the non-profit organization Te Mana o te moana created a project to increase awareness of sustainable tourism for tourism operators, reminding them of the relevant regulation and the rules of good conduct that they should follow. The need for informing, sharing and accompanying operators in their activity was noted.


Cetaceans Observatory

 The foundation decided to create The Observatory of Cetaceans in the French Polynesia with the support of Total Foundation, Nature et Découverte Foundation, Moorea Dolphin Center, the IFRECOR  and in partnership with the Direction of the Environment of French Polynesia (DIREN).

One goal of the Observatory is to collect observational data, to summarize and popularize them; also to create support and methodological tools to help operators and recreational boaters {implement their environmental process.

To get more information about theCetacean Observatory and to get the pedagogic tools created :

>> Cetaceans Observatory

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