A Respectful Whale Watching Company Will…

PUT THE ANIMALS FIRST

  • be careful and perform responsible boat handling
  • recognize that we are uninvited guests in the whales habitat and we are privileged to see them
  • understand careful and considerate behaviour around the whales usually results in far more enjoyable encounters
  • have a responsibility to cause as little disturbance as possible
  • spend extra money on the most eco-sensitive engine technology
  • minimize your carbon footprint
  • reduce the amount of time around the whales by expanding the on-the-water curriculum and include other marine wildlife
  • be able to provide guests with an enhanced marine adventure

FOLLOW ENFORCEABLE WHALE WATCHING REGULATIONS

  • ‘Be Whale Wise’ are guidelines that are enforced and recognized by both Canadian and American government agencies
  • ask if they are members of a professional association and look before you book
  • in other parts of the world, there are areas where whale watching is not regulated and is a free-for-all with nothing to prevent irresponsible operators from continually harassing the whales in an attempt to get closer to the whales as quickly as possible
  • ask the operator questions to show that you are aware of applicable regulations
  • don’t be afraid to speak up and tell someone if you feel that a boat captain is not behaving responsibly and putting the needs of the animals first

HAVE ADEQUATE SAFETY PROVISIONS

A safe whale watch boat should have:

  • an experienced skipper and crew who are well-trained in first aid and rescue skills
  • appropriate safety equipment
  • appropriate insurance
  • a Transport Canada certification
  • a maximum number of passengers
  • a properly prepared safety briefing for all passengers

Offer superior standards of customer service & care. This includes honest advertising of what passengers can expect from the trip: whale sightings, guarantees, overall quality of product and true safety records. Every aspect of the trip should be professional, which means a fair ticket price relative to the experience: you get what you paid for.

  • many extras provided
  • comprehensive wildlife viewing experience
  • a clean vessel
  • the crew should be friendly, knowledgeable, and polite
  • cancellations due to adverse sea and weather conditions (be careful, some companies will not cancel trips)
  • find out whether there is a policy of refunding fares or offering free places on a future trip

Have an on-board biologist/naturalist. This is really important and can make the difference between just a “boat ride” and a really memorable experience! Your tour guide should offer you:

  •  a lively, entertaining and educational commentary on the various species of whales you are hoping to see, as well as the other marine wildlife in the area
  •  be a passionate conservationist
  •  be knowledgeable about any threats facing local marine wildlife or their habitat
  •  will also be able to interpret the behaviour of the whales and wildlife being observed as this can really add to your understanding and enjoyment of the experience

Protect the whales future… with a comprehensive environmental program: read more about our conservation initiatives.