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/
AMAZING MORNING Ash (age 9 years):D We got lots of luck! We saw lots of seals and even saw a seal in the water and it came to meet us. We saw a blue penguin and some shags. We had fantastic guides Emma, Matt and Cohen. I had the best morning of my life and will never ever forget it! Definitely recommend it for everyone. 5/5
Ash, Taranaki New Zealand
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...
We are a family of five (14, 12 and 10 year old kids) and we went out last week with Emma as our guide. It was the perfect morning - we saw a seal right up close - he swam right next to our kayaks. Really comfortable kayaks and easy to use. Emma had lots of useful information and was very patient when we got used to using the double kayaks....
We booked on the seal kayaking tour and the day dawned magical and calm. Pretty much straight away we saw seals up on the rocks, so tick tick. We ventured out into the Pacific and were blown away to have a pod of Dusky dolphins cruising with us. They were gorgeous and kept on swimming near our kayaks. Then a seal took to the water and started...
A big thanks to Matt and Renee for fitting us in so we could give our kids an ultimate experience. From the time of booking communication and service was awesome. Such a professional team. Renee was very patient and excellent with the kids. Highly recommend this experience. Well worth the money. Thanks team from the Warrington family. May...
Jollene W, New Zealand
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
Amazing wildlife experience Had a great couple of hours on the water with Emma and Cohen. Amazing expeience of dolphins leaping out of the water close by and swimming all around our kayaks as well as getting close to a local seal colony. The dolphins almost seemed to be having as much fun as us. Heartily recommend this as a 'must...
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!!
Amazing Sea Kayaking Experience Emma was our guide for the half day seal kayaking experience. Though we had never been sea kayaking we felt safe with all the instruction and had a blast. We even saw some hector dolphins and a blue penguin. Emma’s knowledge was impeccable and enthusiasm was infectious as she led us in a chase of the...
Emaria, North Carolina