E-Ko Tours support SMART
At E-Ko Tours, we are extremely proud to have supported the development of the Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism (SMART) program. We take the wellbeing of marine mammals very seriously and believe in leading by example by committing to operating in a manner that causes a minimal disturbance on whales, dolphins and seals.
What is SMART?
The SMART programme aims to promote responsible behaviour around dolphins, whales and seals by commercial boat operators.
SMART is a voluntary collaboration between commercial boat operators and DOC for the protection of marine mammals in New Zealand. The qualification launched in October 2014 in the Marlborough Sounds and E-Ko Tours was the first SMART certified operator in New Zealand.
Tourism can affect marine mammals by changing their behaviour or direction of travel, and reducing the opportunity for feeding, resting and social behaviour. Changes in behaviour may result in physiological stress, displacement to suboptimal areas, and/or reduced calving success. The potential impacts of marine mammal tourism can be reduced by:
- Complying with Marine Mammals Protection Regulations
- Following the conditions outlined in commercial permits
- Observing best practice when viewing marine mammals
How you can help!
Visitors – you can help marine mammals by choosing a SMART Operator when boating in areas where there are marine mammals
For more information about SMART please follow this link: http://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/smart-operator-programme/