Moonraker Dolphin Swims dedication to the preservation of our greatest natural asset has resulted in a much broader public and scientific understanding of the animals we encounter. We are committed to environmentally sustainable tourism and embrace our Best Environmental Practices.
At our snorkel and interpretation sights, we have used dedicated sites with permanently erected structures and manmade marine parks since 1990. Using and facilitating these snorkel sites has allowed us to protect and preserve what we perceive as “our patches”.
Proudly we have attained Australia’s highest level of eco tourism certification and long term operational permits, granted by Parks Victoria and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries in recognition. In addition to this we have won numerous State, National and International eco tourism awards, and are 100% carbon offset. Furthering our commitment to environmental sustainability and best practice, reflecting our overall protection for the marine environment and unique animals we encounter on a daily basis.
Ongoing research and monitoring
During the off season June – mid September our research staff and marine scientists, undertake a variety of monitoring and research projects into the Fur Seals and Bottle Nose Dolphins concentrating on their behavior, travel distance and location and also breeding numbers.
In the winter of 2011 and 2012 our resident Marine Biologist Jemma, was stationed at Kanowna Island, an uninhabited island off the coast of Wilsons Prom, in Eastern Victoria. Jemma remained on the island for periods of six weeks, researching and monitoring the Australian Fur Seals: Whisker patterns, seal pup numbers and colony size, along with analyzing the seals diet.
In the winter of 2013 Jemma is stationed in Dingle, Ireland, part of the working team at Dingle Wildlife and Seal Sanctuary. Jemma is currently rehabilitating Common and Grey Seals along with sea birds and other marine animals.
In 2012 Moonraker Dolphin Swims began the removal of the Northern Pacific Sea Star. An aquatic pest accidently introduced into Port Phillip Bay in the 1990’s and now one of our most noxious and concerning marine pests. During the 2012- 2013 season Moonraker Dolphin Swim obtained two collection permits from Parks Victoria and Fisheries Victoria to aid in the remove NPSS from Popes Eye Marine Park and other areas of Port Phillip Bay where the sea stars we prevalent.
Best environmental practices
Special environmental measures are incorporated into our daily tour operations to protect and nurture the bay’s long term health. All our tour vessels operate on bio diesel, and use biodegradable detergents, body wash, shampoo and conditioner.
In 2013 Moonraker Dolphin Swims became 100% Carbon offset. For ever tone of CO2 emitted by our business, Moonraker Dolphin Swims invests in local carbon reduction projects that reduce the equivalent tone of CO2. The offsetting projects Moonraker Dolphin Swims supports are local and relevant to our marine environment. Offsetting has allowed us to take action, reduce impact of our environment and deliver the social, health and economic benefits essential for sustainable development – all as part of our integrated environmental management plan.
Our on board service facilities are solar operated, using stored solar and excess power generated for the main engines this is stored in battery banks and converted into 12V and 240V power used in lighting, refrigeration and hot water systems, this discourage harmful green house gasses from generators and eliminates the use of hazardous natural gas on boat all our tour vessels.
Codes of Practice such as Seal Tourism in Port Phillip Bay, fish feeding protocol, snorkel protocols to name a few, ensure that our snorkel sites are maintained in pristine condition. In 2009 Moonraker Dolphin Swim and The Dolphin Research Institute formed an alliance, with the aim to support DRI in their work, managing and researching into the resident Bottlenose Dolphins.
Through this unique alliance, a proportion of ticket sales are donated directly to DRI to ensure the longevity of our unique dolphin population exists well into the future. Along with the continued support of the Ambassador Program, facilitating marine workshops to over 40 primary schools across the state of Victoria.
In addition to interpretive programs, Moonraker Dolphin Swims policy of public education in the wider community includes assistance for documentary film crews, journalists, visiting scientists, education placements and work experience.
Ultimately, Moonraker Dolphin Swims would like all our guests to leave our cruises as active, inspired people to ultimately protect, preserve and strive to maintain the animals, eco system, and our pristine environment.