Give Them Breathing Room
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Does whale watching really promote conservation or is it disruptive to the animals?
Just as drive-through zoos are disruptive to the land animals' well-being, so are large cruise boats to marine life. While whale watching can be educational and can spark conservation initiatives, the noise and fumes from these boats takes a toll.
- Opt for smaller boats and alternative fuels, such as biodiesel (vegetable oil), which doesn't eliminate all hazards but produces less noxious fumes.Some companies that have gone this route are Deer Harbor Charters (www.deerharborcharters.com) in the San Jaun Islands and Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui (www.pacificwhale.org), that offers dolphin and whale eco tours on biodiesel catamarans.
- Quiet options include sailing vessels, like the one used by Seavisions (www.ingonish.com/seavisions) in Cape Breton, who cut the motor once they leave the harbor, and Seasmoke (www.seaorca.com) in B.C., who use sailing vessels, serve organic food on board and recycle their waste.
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