Is it Safe? Is it Sustainable?
The team at Shark Experience have the honour of working on the ocean, the home of some very special creatures, in one of the most pristine, untouched places in the world.
We are mindful that humans and our inventions are secondary to the natural going-ons in the ocean. We are committed to keeping our footprint, and those who travel with us, to a minimum so we can continue to observe, educate, promote shark and ocean conservation.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE TOURISM FOR SHARK EXPERIENCE?
We want to minimise our footprint on our natural environment – where we dive, the ocean we travel on, the animals we encounter, the whenua we sit on, all while operating economically.
We want to introduce and educate the world about our local marine environment and special ocean inhabitants, in the least intrusive, safest and most responsible way we can.
We want to support local, employ local, promote local and keep it local.
The shark cage diving industry relies on thriving marine ecosystems with a healthy population of sharks to sustain business*. Therefore our marine environment and its inhabitants are the most important components in our success.
Our operations are based on the Shark Cage Dive Code of Practice where were continue to support the key factors of Minimal Baiting, No touching rule, Ecofriendly practices on our vessel, Engage/support/ Participate in Cleans Ups/Marine events, Educate Guests and we in the future, where possible, we hope to seek accreditation in our commitment to sustainable practices.
Scope: Shark Experience will actively manage and be responsible for sustainable practices on our vessels, our booking office sites, workshop and maintenance locations, and our nominated dive sites. We will encourage our passengers and customers to support our sustainable goals, by travelling light, slow and with respect.
HOW WE CURRENTLY DO THIS:
- Shark Experience have signed and are committed to the Tourism Industry Aotearoa Sustainability Commitment
- We monitor the carbon footprint of the entire business, on land and sea. We are happy to share this information.
- We undertake wildlife interactions as per the Shark Cage Dive Code of Practice (NZ) as well as observe the WWF Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism guidelines.
- We minimise impact to our dive environment and wildlife by anchoring and observing for all tours.
- Our simple, locally supplied morning tea and complimentary lunch is made locally in Bluff, from local Southland produce, is locally sourced and has minimal packaging.
- We use real knives, forks, cups and plates. We don’t offer napkins or free gift bags. We offer filtered water onboard and instore.
- All company waste is collected and sorted for recycling or compost. This includes engine and hydraulic oils, where possible.
- Our retail store offers 60% locally made and sourced product. The remainder of our stock must be sourced from an environmentally accredited or committed manufacturer – NZ Made preferred.
- Each season our wetsuits are repaired and sold to young/local divers for continued use, or used for other purposes – so not committed to landfill.
- We use biodegradable and environmentally friendly cleaning products, and have processes in place to reduce any overflow to the ocean
- We avoid plastic. Every other option needs to be considered before we use it.
- We are committed to trying new technology to minimise vessel impact to the ocean.
- We keep things as paper free/print free as possible, or use product from a managed forest NZ paper source.
- Our crew participate in beach clean ups, coastal clean up projects and help with pest control in our local community.
- Promotion of local conservation and ocean clean-up programs.
THINGS WE HOPE TO REINSTATE AFTER ONCE THE TOURISM INDUSTRY IS RECOVERED:
- Provide resources and participate in Shark and Ocean Education Program with local schools/kura. (almost there!)
- Continue to honour our elders and Bluff conservation volunteers on our annual Kaumatua Tour
- Continue our Shark Identification Program and get that data out into the world again!
- Increase our retail offering to 80% locally made and 20% environmentally accredited.
HOW YOU CAN HELP WHEN YOU CHOOSE SHARK EXPERIENCE AS YOUR HOST ON THE FOVEAUX STRAIT:
- Bring your own water bottle and use our filtered water on board and in our store
- Leave your waste at home. Any waste at sea has a potential to be blown into the sea. Consider bring snacks in containers.
- Read the toilet instructions. Toilets at sea are different, so only human waste and thin paper can be processed – everything else needs to come back to the land for disposal. Tampons and wrappers are not good for ocean.
- Hang on to your stuff! The Foveaux Strait is windy - hats, cameras and dive gear are considered assets on land, but waste in our ocean.
- Choose an ocean based charity as your preferred charity.
- Travel slow – walk, ride, embrace a destination for a week, not a one day wonder. Slow Travel is better for our earth.
- Honour the Tiaki promise.
- Choose local. Stay in Bluff – its unique and so are its business.
Like to more about sustainable tourism in New Zealand?
Video: Qualmark Sustainable Tourism
TIA Presentation: Tourism 2050 and Beyond
Great Website: Tiaki - Care for New Zealand