Dolphin Eco Tour Oahu
WHY CHOOSE A DOLPHIN ECO TOUR
Dolphins are at risk from many environmental factors caused by humans. Plastic pollution, underwater noise, the captive dolphin trade and climate change all threaten dolphins’ habitat. Dolphins are one of the world’s most intelligent creatures.
The most environmentally friendly way to interact with dolphins is watching them above water. But when choosing a way to swim with dolphins, some tours are more sustainable and eco-friendly than others.
Interacting with dolphins in the ocean rather than a tank allows dolphins to stay in the wild. It’s important to know when swimming with dolphins that they are naturally resting during the day. Choose a low impact tour with procedures in place to reduce any disruption to the dolphins sleeping cycle allow.
Most ecotours also take a ‘look don’t touch’ approach. Sunscreen, chemicals and bacteria on human skin can be harmful to all marine life. Ecotours also tend to be more informative.
More than anything, choosing an ecotour helps to ensure that experiences like interacting with dolphins in their natural environment will be around for generations to come.
Hawaii Ecotourism Association Certification
The Hawaii Ecotourism Association (HEA) was established in 1995 to promote sustainable travel in Hawaii. It began a certification program in 2001, allowing local tour operators to prove that their tours are sustainable and that they promote local cultural awareness. Since then, the organization has certified hundreds of tours across the islands, including Dolphins and You.
Dolphins and You: A Dolphin Eco Tour
Dolphins and You applies for HEA certification annually. It demonstrates its commitment to sustainable tourism and cultural practices in a number of ways.
First off, Dolphins and You works to instill an appreciation for dolphins and Hawaii’s wildlife in all of its guests. From the education video played on the bus to the guide briefing before jumping in the water, the Dolphins and You crew shares facts about dolphins and other wildlife.
Dolphins and You also has a number of rules in place while swimming with dolphins. These are the most important steps that are taken to make sure the dolphins are comfortable and receive as little disturbance from the encounter as possible. The rules include no splashing or yelling, no diving down on the dolphins, no chasing the dolphins, and no touching the dolphins.
Lastly, the whole crew picks up any and all trash while out at sea. They collect anything from plastic waste to huge masses of marine netting, and the trained free diving crew often swims down into the deep sea to retrieve dropped items so that they do not become marine debris. The tour also offers eco-friendly products for purchase.
All Dolphins and You tour guests are encouraged to consider using reef-safe sunscreen, due to the fact that regular sunscreens contain chemicals that can damage Hawaii’s delicate marine ecosystems and coral. To combat single-use plastics, the company also partnered with a local glass blower to offer reusable straws. And every guest who visits the Waikiki office is treated to a branded eco-bag, while supplies last.