SMART Operator Programme
IntroductionThe SMART Operator programme aims to promote responsible behaviour around dolphins, whales and seals by boat operators.
SMART (Sustainable Marine Mammal Actions in Recreation and Tourism) is a voluntary collaboration between commercial boat operators and DOC for the protection of marine mammals in New Zealand.
Effect of tourism on marine mammals
Viewing marine mammals in New Zealand is a memorable experience. With half of the world's cetaceans (dolphins and whales) having been sighted in our waters, New Zealand really is a hot spot for viewing these beautiful animals!
As demand for viewing experiences with marine mammals has increased, so too has the pressure on these animals by both tourism and recreational vessels. Numerous studies have documented the effects reckless viewing can have on marine mammals – these include changes in behaviour, boat strike, and reducing the opportunity for feeding, resting, and socialising.
We can all play our part in making marine mammal viewing in New Zealand sustainable now and into the future.
Become a SMART operator
Commercial boat operators can contact their local DOC office to find out how to participate in the SMART Operator Programme.
Recreational boat operators can learn more about boating around marine mammals.
Current SMART operators
SMART operators undertake ongoing, intensive staff training, use responsible advertising and provide comprehensive education to the wider public. These measures provide and promote safe viewing of marine mammals around Aotearoa, helping to protect our special taonga.
Activity: Waka tours from Kaiteriteri & in Abel Tasman National Park
Phone: 0800 9252 28 (WAKA AT)
Activity: Small group scenic cruises and charters exploring the Abel Tasman National Park coastline
Phone: 0800 22 35 22
Activity: Nature and sea kayak tours in Akaroa
Phone: +64 3 304 8542
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our office.