As the Canary Islands head towards the busiest part of their tourist season, the Gobierno (Island Government) has issued an updated guide called “Care For Whales And Dolphins” , aimed at the many boat operators that take people out to witness these remarkable creatures at close quarters.
The Canary Islands is at the forefront of cetacean care and research as a third of all species either live or pass through these islands. There is a huge appetite to see the beauty and grace of these creatures in their natural habitat, but it is impoertant that in doing so, we don’t cause distress or injury to the animals.
Reputable excursion companies have been keen to sign up to the guide lines and the distinctive Blue Boat flag, displayed on a boat,Â is your guarantee that they have promised to stick to the agreed proceedures to view dolphins and whales. These include safe distances to watch from and prohibited view points that could block the path of the animals. There are also time limits and restrictions on the number of boats that can be present in these areas at the same time.
The new leaflet is available to the public in Spanish, German and English at most Tourist Information points and several local cultural centres. It is hoped that if the public are aware of what is expected by their excursion boat, they can ensure that these rules are stuck to and if need be report anyone who flaunts the rules.
Used in a caring and responsible way, whale and dolphin watching trips can raise awareness of these animals and educate visitors to the dangers facing the cetacean population. It is in everyones interest to ensure that the Canary Islands continue to be a major centre to study, appreciate and conserve these majestic animals.