Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea - In October 2019 Kaikoura Kayaks became the very first Friend of the Sea sustainable dolphin and whale watching operator in New Zealand. We are also the first kayak operator ever certified by Friend of the Sea.
Friend of the Sea Certifies Its First Sustainable Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour Operator in New Zealand
Kaikoura Kayaks certified for sustainable practices that protect fur seals as well as dolphins and whales
OCTOBER 25, 2019—Friend of the Sea, the leading worldwide certification standard for products and services that respect and protect the marine environment, announced today that it has certified Kaikoura Kayaks of New Zealand for its program for Sustainable Dolphin and Whale Watching. Kaikoura Kayaks is the first such operation to be certified in New Zealand. It’s also the first kayak operator ever certified by Friend of the Sea. With this certification, Friend of the Sea is helping protect dolphins in their natural habitat while spreading valuable information about the issue of sustainability in marine wildlife.
“We are truly impressed by Kaikoura Kayaks’ dedication to sustainability,” said Paolo Bray, Director of Friend of the Sea. “While kayaks are generally lower in impact on wildlife than motorized boats, any human contact with marine animals can have a negative effect if it’s not carefully controlled.”
Kaikoura Kayaks is mostly involved in viewing New Zealand fur seal/kekeno (Arctocephalus forsteri) and has many chance encounters with the Dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus). Occasionally their kayak tours spot Hector dolphins (Cephalorhynchus hectori) and Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). In very rare circumstances, kayakers can see a Killer whale (Orcinus orca) or the huge Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus). “Protecting seals is significant,” Bray added. “It’s not just cetaceans that are at risk today.”
“This is a real honor,” said Matt Foy, Partner of Kaikoura Kayaks. “We’re proud to display the Friend of the Sea emblem on our website and to be recognized for our commitment towards sustainability in our business”. The company also has certifications for sustainable tourism and safety practices. The Friend of the Sea standard seeks to minimize unintentional disturbance to the dolphins’ habitat by setting a maximum number of vessels in the area at any one time.
The standard also sets limits on maximum approach speed and distance between the boats and the dolphins. At the same, it prohibits swimming with the animals and the use of mono-use plastics on board the tour boats. Customers can interact with Friend of the Sea, giving feedback on the tour.
About Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea, a project of the World Sustainability Organization, awards sustainable practices in Fisheries, Aquaculture, Fishmeal and Omega 3 Fish Oil. The organization promotes pilot projects related to restaurants, sustainable shipping, whale and dolphin-watching, aquaria, ornamental fish, UV creams and others. It is the only sustainable fisheries certification program recognized and supervised globally by a National Accreditation Body.
For more information, visit https://friendofthesea.org/
What our customers have to say
Wow wow wow! We'd done whale watching the day before but this beat that hands down. Miles was great, just enough instruction and safety chat and getting us involved in prep. He mentioned that he'd seen spouting and splashing over the other side of the bay so we decided to head that way. Within minutes we were seeing loads of leaping...
Lesley H, UK
We did the trip with a 6 and 8 year old. Parents in the back of each kayak, kids in the front. This worked really well. Saw a huge number of dolphins & Seals. They were playing & doing crazy tricks. Had a lovely time, the staff were really friendly, helpful & enthusiastic. Great value for money and would highly recommend this...
Steve, Nelson NZ
Marine mammal megamix Spent a truly incredible morning around the Kaikoura Peninsula with Matt and Emma, two fantastic local guides. The whole operation was very professional, with high quality kayaks, equipment and a detailed safety briefing. Spent a good amount of time observing the seals, tried our hand at some kayak surfing in the big...
I would have to say this is up there with one of my best experiences in New Zealand! The kayak tour was incredible and I would really recommend this to anyone. The staff are great, friendly and funny which made the tour even more enjoyable. My team included Emma, Cam and Sophie. As I was on my own, I had the pleasure of sharing a kayak with...
Giorgio Favarulo, UK / Ireland
Third time with Kaikoura Kayaks! Have been in guided tours and hired a double kayak; all experiences were incredible. Great staff and equipment. Kaikoura is one of the most amazing places to kayak - so much wild life and you're surrounded by epic scenery.
Kiana Saltarelli, North America
Great Trip - even the oldies loved it! Had a really great trip with Cowan out to the see the seals and the reef on a beautiful morning. I was a bit worried getting in a kayak with my mother (67) and father (70) but Cowan kept us going at a leisurely pace and even convinced us to have a go in the open ocean! What a great experience and...
John R, UK
"To Matt and the Kaikoura Kayaks team, Thank you very much for a fantastic day of kayaking. Both our trips were very well organised by your friendly team. We found your lessons enjoyable, helping us all to be confident, expert paddlers! We were so lucky to have a beautiful sunny day, and we enjoyed fantastic scenery and wildlife out...
Kowhai Class, Hurunui College NZ
The experience of a lifetime! Having intuitive and professional guides who allowed us the opportunity to experience an outstanding and very memorable day. They knew just where the incredible action was happening. We saw an amazing array of dolphins playing right near us and also saw blue penguins and seals. We travelled for two weeks around...
Paula Kirby, Wellinton NZ
Sunset magic 10/10 thanks to Emma and her crew. We had a magical day on the water and got to see feeding seals, dolphins and wildlife. Thanks so much would 100% recommend to anyone looking for a unforgettable experience in Kaikoura!!
We had a truly wonderful experience; my husband and I went as a stop on our honeymoon trip. Our guide, Ru, was knowledgeable and skillful, and checked in with us often to provide the experience that would help us feel challenged, excited, and also safe and comfortable. From start to finish the team was so thorough and made sure we had all of...
Laura James, USA