As a provider of a first class service, Akaroa Dolphins recognises that we have an obligation to this unique and special environment in and around Akaroa Harbour. It is vital for the ongoing success of our business that our activities have a positive impact on the environment. We will strive to educate customers and provide a highly sustainable, quality experience.
Together with other tour operators in Akaroa Harbour, we are committed to raising awareness of our unique environment by developing and demonstrating best practice, encouraging recreational boats to learn from us. As a permitted Department of Conservation SMART (Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism) operator, we do this by operating in a sensitive and responsible manner around dolphins, whales and seals, to ensure we have minimal impact on the environment and wildlife. The SMART programme is a partnership between the Department of Conservation & boat operators for the protection of marine mammals, under the Marine Mammal Protection Regulations 1992.
Owners Hugh and Pip, realised the need for greater protection of the marine environment and to ensure the future health of the harbour. They are part of the Akaroa Marine Protection Society, which fought for 17 years to establish the Akaroa Marine Reserve, finally established in 2014.
WE COMMIT TO:
- Keeping as our top priority the care and wellbeing of Banks Peninsula’s resident Hector’s dolphins, one of the rarest dolphins in the world.
- Minimizing our impact on the environment to ensure we protect these and other animals for future generations to enjoy.
- Finding new ways to protect the Hector’s dolphins and to continue educating the public to increase awareness of these endangered mammals.
- Continue providing a high quality tour for our passengers, while keeping wildlife disturbances to a minimum by viewing from our purpose built boat.
- Complying with all environmental legislation and operational requirements from Department of Conservation and other local authorities.
- Keeping an effective maintenance and staff training program to reduce the risk of emergency situations.
- Reducing energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions in all areas of our operation.
- Reducing the use of non-recyclable materials and we will always re-cycle where possible.
- Ensuring a percentage of each fare goes to the Department of Conservation to be spent on research and education of marine wildlife.
- Being an example in promoting a clean, safe harbour by encouraging the public and other boat operators to act responsibly and not pollute the harbour and we will remove any rubbish ourselves.
- Trying where possible to employ local personnel within a small township therefore providing jobs in the area
- Stocking locally made products and using local services wherever possible, and we will encourage the public to do the same.
- Keeping Akaroa, and New Zealand on the whole, a clean and friendly tourist destination staying in line with the “100% Pure” image.
RECENT CONSERVATION PROJECTS:
- Conservation Cruise through SeaWeek 2017
- Corporate members of Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, since 2009
- Support ‘Plastic Bag Free Akaroa’ by eliminating the need for single-use plastic bags in our shop & boat work environments, since 2016
- Staff trained as Project Jonah marine mammal medics, which was put into practice at a recent whale stranding at Robinson’s Bay on the 12th of March 2017
- Strong Department of Conservation relationships, since 2004
- Strong relationship with the New Zealand Whale & Dolphin Trust, with the Conservation Cruise and staff actively joining their research vessel, collecting data for PhD projects on the Hector’s Dolphins, since 2004
- Participate in ocean debris clean-ups during our cruises, since 2004
- Assist in water testing with Christchurch City Council, monitoring the health of our harbour, since 2010
SUPPORTING LOCAL EVENTS INCLUDE:
- Tui Project sponsorship through the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, since 2009
- Sponsored SeaWeek conservation activities annually, since 2004
- A number of staff members are part of the Akaroa Marine Protection Society, since 2014
- Sponsorship of Vermin Competition 2016 & 2017