Our company focuses on nature-based activities and it is important for us to behave responsibly towards the whales and the marine environment. This an on-going process in which we regularly evaluate measures to make our operations even more environmentally friendly.
“The world’s finest wilderness lies under the waves”Wyland, Marine Environmental Artist
GUIDELINES FOR WHALE SAFARI
As a serious whale-watching operator, our company has worked out guidelines regarding how to behave on the whale grounds and when close to the whales. These guidelines are in accordance with the recommendation given by the WDCS (The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society) and the IWC (International Whaling Commission). In addition, we have internal guidelines which our captains must follow.
Some of our advantagesBeing the company with the longest experience in whale safari, we have in the course of many years acquired some advantages:
- Captains with years of experience in evaluating the whales’ behaviour and maneuvering the boats according to the actual weather and the sea conditions.
- Long experience in the evaluation of the different species’ characteristics to take those into account when close to the cetaceans.
- Use of hydrophones to localize the whales allows us to position our boats in an optimal way, before the whales reach the surface. Thus we avoid unnecessary use of the engine, which is good for the environment and reduces the noise in the ocean.
- Upgrade of the boats’ propellers to better, quieter ones.
Conduct close to the whalesTo make a success and a nice experience of the whale safari, it is important not to scare the whales. To succeed with this, it is necessary to understand every species’ peculiarities and how the boats can influence their behavior. We have acquired long experience in this area and use this set of rules as basis for our conduct:
- Approach the whales from the back.
- Gradually reduce speed and the engine’s revolutions per minute as we get closer to the animals
- Stop and keep an appropriate distance to the whale.
- Avoid unnecessary changes in revolutions per minute (of the engine) and turning of the propeller
- Constantly evaluate the whale’s behavior and consider each individual’s specificity.
- Avoid following the whale for more than 3 dive cycles (for Sperm Whales).
A safari to see Sperm Whales requires special care and attention, since these cetaceans really need to lie undisturbed at the surface in order to breathe and recover before they can dive again to forage. Besides, different individuals can behave in different ways: sperm whales that we have seen for many years will often be more relaxed and easier to approach than “newcomers” and younger individuals. But this is something our crews are fully aware of, and we can therefore adjust our behavior for each and every individual.
“I am seriously impressed with Whalesafari Andenes. The winter whale watching here is outstandingly good and the skipper is a true professional, handling his boat around whales he has known all his adult life with care, thoughtfulness and precision..”Mark Carwardine (one of the world's most experienced and famous whale biologists)
As a company running nature-based activities, we take care of the environment as much as possible while trying our best to deliver a good experience for our visitors. We are always open to do things in other ways and we accept willingly ideas which can contribute to make our operations even more environmentally friendly. Below are some examples of measures we have adopted during the last years:
- We don’t drive our boat with full speed. This reduces the fuel consumption and thus the emission of gases like NOx and CO2
- The use of hydrophones to locate the whales allows us to shorten the driving time and therefore reduces fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.
- For the drinks on board we don’t use disposable cups and cutlery but rather products which can be washed and used again. We ask everybody to cooperate by throwing them in the appropriate bin.
- In our Whale Shop, for souvenirs, we no longer use plastic bags – dangerous for marine life – and have substituted them with paper bags.