Why It's Important
Whale watching companies have established and adhere to responsible whale watching practices to promote sustainability and co-existence between people and marine mammals. It’s never been more important for wildlife viewing to be done responsibly in order to protect the health and welfare of all marine life and ensure the long term viability of viewing and learning about marine mammals in their natural habitat.
With a low volume of vessel traffic, and protection from rough seas and open ocean swells, Vancouver Island North is an excellent area for whale watching from kayaks, small power vessels, sailboats, and from shore. Read on to learn best practices and how you can contribute to responsible wildlife viewing.
NIMMSA conducts conservation and business activities aimed at benefiting marine mammals, the economy and the marine environment off northern Vancouver Island, with members from 90% of all eco-tour companies in the region. NIMMSA members must meet strict criteria before applying, and abide by a regionally specific code of conduct.
Tourism operators in the Vancouver Island North region who are members of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA) will donate $1.00 per guest per day to an industry implemented conservation fund. Monies contributed to this fund will be annually distributed to selected organizations who have applied to NIMMSA for grants to conduct marine conservation focused activities in the region.
The Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network serves to support a regionally consistent and effective approach to stewardship across all of our territories, and to coordinate, strengthen and build our stewardship capacity and capability in areas such as compliance monitoring and enforcement capabilities.
The Network also serves to:
- Support the protection of our cultural, economic, and the ecological values throughout our territories;
- Support research related to key priorities in our territories;
- Coordinate and provide standardized training;
- Ensure a consistent data collection system is in place and that recognized data gathering methods are used so that the information can be incorporated into our respective decision making processes.