All whale watching boats on this website comply with the AWdF’s Code of Conduct for Nature Tourism providers. There are six key elements of Responsible Nature Tourism providers:
Code of Conduct for Nature Tourism Providers
1. Respect for Nature
Respect for nature visited and its Environment.
AWdF research over the last 25 years shows quite clearly the dramatic improvement in the whale watching experience (for the whales) after the introduction of regulations. Our research shows, further, that the blue flag whale watching boats continue to abide by the regulations. However, our research also shows very clearly that the increasing incidence of illegal boat activity is causing significant distress to the whales. Please do not book a whale watching trip with an illegal boat.
2. Respect for Tourists.
In terms of quality of the whale watching experience, their health and safety, the knowledge afforded them etc. Tenerife’s whale watching industry is an example of ‘best practice’ for the world in this respect. With legal boats the attention to the customer experience- their health and safety, the training and quality of their staff is second to none.
3. Contribution to the local community.
In Tenerife, most crew on the whale watching boats are drawn from the old sea fishing community; the boats have provided a means of them continuing their work on the sea. This is something of which the industry should be immensely proud of. Additionally, many of the boats we work on provide highly subsidised access for local children, again something to be immensely proud of.
AWdF volunteers on the whale watching boats reach out to a global community.
4. Contribution to Research.
The AWdF has been privileged for its volunteers to be able to carry our research aboard the whale watching boats for some 25 years. In this time we have assembled world class databases on the resident short finned pilot whale and bottlenose dolphin communities and on migrating species passing through. We know these animals as individuals within family groups with social roles and responsibilities. We have used this data to provide educational materials: the TES website, the world’s largest on-line teacher resource has had hundreds of thousands of teacher downloads of our teaching materials. We have given out hundreds of thousands of free educational leaflets and we regularly attend the European Cetacean Conference (ECS) presenting our findings. This year we are presenting findings on illegal boat impact.
5. Contribution to Conservation.
The whale watching industry in Tenerife’s contribution to conservation is through the work of the volunteers on the boats raising awareness of conservation issues. Also, through initiatives such as the AOCN through which tourists can make a difference to conservation of cetaceans direct with organisations across the Atlantic Oceans.
6. Contribution to Education.
The AWF through it volunteers produce teacher resources on the world’s largest teacher resource website (TES) used by hundreds of thousands of teachers. This work is all produced at our base in Arona, alongside educational workshops, presentations and talks in hotels, educational material used on the whale watching boats, free educational posters etc