Responsible tourism: Whale Watching with marine biologist, Canary Islands
WHALE AND DOLPHIN WATCHING IN LA GOMERA ENVIRONMENT Adhering strictly to the Canary regulations, we only do respectful Whale Watching with small groups and have set our own standards for ecological whale watching even higher than legally obliged to. The skippers are specialized and educated in whale watching and to avoid stress for the mammals, we behave like guests on the ocean. The animals decide if they want close contact to the boat. Our wooden boat, carrying a maximum of 10 passengers, is an original Gomera fishing boat that was still handmade – a rare sight these days.
All tours (boat and island) are guided personally by our team providing our guests with interesting and useful information. The information we gather during the sightings is shared with a non-profit conservation and research organization (M.E.E.R. e.V.) to support research and conservation efforts.
We provide plenty of information about the local environment and culture, for example in the info folders we put in every apartment giving your insight into responsible behavior towards dolphins and whales, problems related to whale-watching (e.g. Tenerife) and environmental care (e.g. waste and water), nature protection, drinking water, news and innovative projects on the Canary Islands. Spread the news! During the included hike through the National Park you will learn lots of new facts about this UNESCO World Heritage site and enjoy a wholesome typical Gomera meal made of local produce.
Our guests receive free filtered drinking water. That saves the planet about 2000 plastic container each year. We offer weekly information meetings and varying lectures as well as a permanent exhibition in our information center to share our knowledge on cetaceans off La Gomera and their habitat, answer questions and show that encounters of humans and cetaceans can happen with consideration and respect. We support as well the nonprofit association M.E.E.R. e.V. With these measures we enhance the knowledge and awareness of our guests towards this beautiful island and its people, towards the enchanting cetaceans and their endangered habitat and give useful tips on how to contribute to preserve these treasures!
Adopt a dolphin. Since 1995 the German NGO M.E.E.R.e.V. in co-operation with us is researching the marine mammals off La Gomera. With your taken adoption you can make sure that this research will continue. This NGO - of which everyone at our tour company is a member – is also investigating the complex problems revolving around fast ferries on the Canary Islands and worldwide. With the adoption you will receive a welcome letter with a photo of your favorite dolphin or whale species.
Donation. The NGO Pro Wildlife based in Munich provides valuable project work for the marine mammals and the sea and is consequently lobbying their conservation. The department for whales and dolphins works on topics such as whaling, the toxic loads of heavy metals in marine mammals and bycatch. Their studies contribute inter alia at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to keep the ban against international whaling.
Climate protection contribution. For people who are concerned regarding the environmental impacts of their air travel, a new service has been established: atmosfair. Utilizing an emissions calculator, atmosfair customers can figure out how much greenhouse gas emissions are caused by their individual flights. With your donation you enable atmosfair to run projects in developing countries where these emissions will be saved.
We were awarded the official renowned CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) sustainability certification by TourCert as the first whale watching tour operator. This means that we as a company have:
- Audited our company according to sustainability standards - Quantified and qualified our ecological and social criteria - Issued a sustainability report and respective enhancement programmes according to TourCert standards - Committed ourselves to continuously enhance our sustainability efforts#+ - We regard the CSR report as a continuous process to enhance the integration of even more environmental and sustainability aspects, way beyond any legal obligations, into the everyday life of the company.
We work together with local companies, like small locally-owned apartment complexes or car rental companies and encourage our guests to buy and eat out in the local shops and restaurants. The apartments also employ locals and the producers they use are local as well.
Our tour guide will show you the local restaurants and introduce you to the typically local food – delicious Canary cuisine – so you will contribute to the survival of local restaurants and get to know the Canary way of life at the same time.