Eagle Eye Adventures, based in the Campbell River area of Vancouver Island in Canada, has become the first company in the world to become certified under new international standards for responsible whale and dolphin watching!
The Responsible Whale Watching certification programme was developed by scientists, whale watching businesses, and marine conservation charities in over 40 countries, all represented through the World Cetacean Alliance (WCA). Having applied for the newly launched global Responsible Whale Watching certification programme, Eagle Eye Adventures owners Jos and Rentia Krynen have demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that animal welfare, sustainability, and a high-quality customer experience are at the heart of their business. Said WCA CEO Dylan Walker: “WCA Responsible Whale Watching certification will provide customers with a clear label that stands for quality and environmental responsibility. I have to say that certification as a WCA Responsible Whale Watching operator represents absolute best practice so Eagle Eye Adventures have set a very high benchmark.” Through innovative practices and a thoughtfully developed sustainability action plan, Eagle Eye Adventures has proven itself as a force for positive change in the fight to protect our oceans. Guests onboard their tours learn about whales and dolphins in the local area, the threats that they face, and how customers can help protect them. The company also uses innovative range finding technology to guarantee that its boats stay outside of the minimum approach distances to the animals. Back on land, the company has invested in a local environmental schools education programme as part of a collective of local tour operators.
Jos Krynen, owner of Eagle Eye Adventures, said: “We are super proud and stoked that our Eagle Eye Adventures Team is the choice to become the first in the world certified whale watch company. We hope that many will follow!” Whale and dolphin watching around the world is big business. Generating US$2.1 billion each year in revenue and available in over 120 countries worldwide, tours provide millions of people with the opportunity to see these ocean giants in the wild. When conducted properly, whale watching tourism has been a trailblazing part of ecotourism, delivering responsible and respectful wildlife encounters whilst working with local communities and visiting tourists to raise awareness about the threats to our oceans.
Yet whale watching tourism can also negatively impact on the very animals it relies upon. All too often businesses ignore guidelines or regulations to ensure customers get the closest view or best selfie opportunity, and this can have both short and long term impacts on the welfare of whales and dolphins, sometimes even causing animals to leave the habitats they rely upon for their survival. Certification will, for the first time, provide tourists and tour operators around the world with a clear way of defining those experiences that put the animals first.
Mr Krynen added: “Being certified means a great deal to us. We set the bar high for others to follow, and we want to enjoy our wildlife for many years to come. We are here to educate and preserve our wildlife and our future.”
Find out more about Eagle Eye Adventures here: www.eagleeyeadventures.com/
Find out more about our Certification programme:www.worldcetaceanalliance.org/whalewatchcertification/