Local community unites to protect dolphins in Montenegro

The Green Destinations Top100 Good Practice Story competition represents a global initiative to identify, recognize, and promote best practices in sustainable tourism worldwide. This contest allows destinations, tourism enterprises, and organizations to showcase innovative and efficient approaches to environmental protection, cultural preservation, and social responsibility promotion.

Source: Green Destinations

The Green Destinations Top100 Good Practice Story competition encourages participants to present their successful projects, activities, and initiatives that contribute to sustainable tourism development in their local communities. Applications are evaluated based on innovation, sustainability, measurability, and replicability criteria.

Awards and recognitions provided by the Green Destinations Top100 Good Practice Story competition offer participants the opportunity to enhance their reputation, increase visibility, and attract more visitors and investments. Winners of the competition have the chance to present themselves at the Green Destinations Global Summit and other relevant events, as well as to connect with similar organizations worldwide.

This prestigious contest also motivates destinations to continuously improve in sustainable tourism, learning from one another and sharing best practices. This creates a global network of sustainable destinations working together to achieve sustainable development goals and improve the tourism industry on a worldwide level.

The Green Destinations Top100 Good Practice Story competition represents an essential step towards achieving sustainable tourism worldwide and provides inspiration for other destinations and tourism businesses to engage in the fight to preserve nature, culture, and society for future generations.

Top100 Good Practice Story competition participants

The Kotor Tourism Organization has entered the prestigious Green Destinations Top100 Good Practice Story competition to highlight its commitment to protecting dolphins in the Bay of Kotor. The core of the dolphin conservation story is based on the collaboration between TO Kotor, DMAD, Montenegro Dolphin Research (MDR) non-governmental organizations, and local boat operators.

TO Kotor plays a key role in connecting DMAD/MDR, whose members include experts and students researching dolphins, with boat operators who will implement dolphin-watching guidelines designed by DMAD/MDR. On this occasion, meetings were recently held with representatives of three companies offering boat tours to discuss dolphin-watching guidelines, boat speeds, and their impact on these beautiful animals.

The focus of the Top100 competition application is collaborating with boat owners who will adopt and follow instructions provided by DMAD/MDR. Current competition participants include three companies: Ship Travel Dado, Tide and Wave Tours, and Captain Ivan Kotor Boat Tours. Their representatives believe this will enhance their offerings, providing tourists with an authentic dolphin-watching experience while contributing to their protection and preserving the natural environment in the Bay of Kotor.

Drago Popović: Ship Travel Dado

During the meeting, Thalia de Haas, a DMAD and Montenegro Dolphin Research representative, emphasized that many boats do not notice dolphins due to excessive speeds or careless observation. Technical guidelines for dolphin watching can help protect these animals and enhance the tourist experience. In Montenegro, these instructions are not legally binding, but the local community is expected to recognize and attempt to adhere to them. To make them more accessible to the public and interested parties, TO Kotor and DMAD/MDR have published an infographic that illustrates them appealingly:

Ivan Krivokapić, on behalf of Captain Ivan Kotor Boat Tours, expressed his support for the initiative and noted that respecting the guidelines could lead to his business’s growth, as tourists enjoy watching dolphins. Thalia praised Ivan’s attitude towards dolphins and emphasized the importance of informing others about the guidelines through social media and other forms of communication.

Ivan Krivokapić: Captain Ivan Kotor Boat Cruise

Aleksa Mijanović, on behalf of Tide and Wave Tours, pointed out that many are unaware of the proper procedures and that the infographics will significantly help. Participants agreed that involving the local community in protecting the bay is essential, as dolphins represent a tourist resource. The meeting also addressed the issue of marine litter and how to contribute to its reduction.

Aleksa Mijanović: Tide and Wave Tours

At the end of the meeting, it was mentioned that the guidelines would be promoted in ports, and the Tourism Organization would reward Top100 competition participants with additional promotion to strengthen the campaign and attract the attention of all boat owners.

The dolphin protection promotion project will also involve other interested parties. A workshop has already been organized for preschool-aged children. The Faculty of Maritime Studies will also contribute to the story’s actualization by presenting scientific data, research, and the Institute of Marine Biology. Representatives of the Institute, Dr. Vesna Mačić, Dr. Branka Pestorić, and the Faculty of Maritime Studies, Prof. Radmila Gagić and Prof. Danilo Nikolić, who are dedicated to protecting the sea, coastline, and environment through their work at the faculty, have already expressed their willingness to provide unwavering support to the Green Destinations process in which Kotor has been participating since October.


By involving various stakeholders in protecting and promoting dolphins in the Bay of Kotor, the Kotor Tourism Organization and their partners will demonstrate that successful collaboration on nature conservation and sustainable tourism development is possible. This project can serve as an example for other destinations and tourism businesses that want to engage in the fight to preserve nature, culture, and society for future generations.






3 responses to “Local community unites to protect dolphins in Montenegro”

  1. Jennifer Maxwell Avatar
    Jennifer Maxwell

    How can we help. Who can we contact to report dolphin activities or dangerous behaviour from boats. Great initiative would like to get involved.

    1. Thalia de Haas Avatar

      Hi Jennifer, it is great to hear you like to get involved, we have a Montenegro Dolphin Sightings Network where you can send any dolphin sightings, which will add on to our research and is of great importance to us. You can send any sightings through our social media, movies and pictures would be great to receive through sightings@dmad.org.tr. However, as I said you can send any information through our Montenegro Sightings Network Facebook page or directly to @DMADforNature on Facebook or Instagram. Or contact me directly through @marinevagabond.
      Dangerous behaviour can be reported to us directly as well, and in the future we will try to attempt to talk and educate these people by explaining the Dolphin Watch Guidelines. However, at the moment they are just guidelines, but we would appreciate any information on this front to get a better picture of what is happening in the bay. Thank you so much for your support, Thalia.

  2. Ivana Krivokapić Avatar
    Ivana Krivokapić

    Hello Jennifer,
    Thank you for your interest and for getting in touch, and I apologize for the delay in responding. I am thrilled that our cause is getting attention, and TO Kotor would appreciate it if you could help spread the word and invite anyone you know to join the action. It would be great to have as many people as possible involved, and for starters, the easiest way to participate is by sending us short video clips of dolphins that you spot in the bay, along with anything related to them. We will then forward these to DMAD/MDR. You can send your clips to ikrivokapic12@gmail.com or Viber/WhatsApp/Telegram number +38267333215. Also, please let us know if you have any other suitable ideas.

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