Whale Watch West Cork is dedicated to providing our customers with a safe, comfortable and educational whale and dolphin watching experience. We seek to impart detailed knowledge on the marine mammals and other wildlife we encounter and on the wider issues of marine conservation through informed commentary with special emphasis on the current threats facing these unique animals and their fragile environment. We directly support conservation measures through education and research.
Whale Conservation and Education
Our trips are always oriented towards education with a strong conservation message and we are the ONLY whale watch operator in West Cork to have a qualified zoologist available and information sheets on EVERY trip. With state-of-the-art hydrophone and camera equipment available onboard along with our detailed interactive commentaries we create an informative and educational experience that few other operators are able to recreate. Children who come on board all get a chance to drive the boat and learn as much about the marine environment and the need for conservation as possible. This is in addition to the whales and dolphins and other wildlife we may see. Whale Watch West Cork is the only marine tour operator in West Cork dedicated solely to whale and dolphin watching. We do not run angling trips; this is against our conservation policy, which means there are no nasty fishy smells on board!
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Student Research Placement Programme
Our safety policy is based on the Irish Department of Marine safety code for passenger boat operations at sea. We voluntarily EXCEED the legal requirement for safety equipment. All our boats are fully licensed by the DoM and have the latest safety equipment including lifejackets for all passengers and crew, a self launching life raft, distress flares, emergency DSC marine VHF radio, an E.P.I.R.B (emergency position indicating radio beacon) and the latest in navigation equipment, over and above that required by the licensing authority. We encourage everyone to wear a life jacket at sea (although not a legal requirement) and routinely put the junior members of the group in a life jacket when going to sea. We are in constant contact with our office on land and they regularly monitor our progress throughout every tour. There is a full safety briefing prior to departure.
We are acutely aware that we consume a large amount of fuel during a season whale and dolphin watching and we strive to establish ourselves as a carbon neutral group. In this endeavour we have installed computer-controlled engines in all our boats to ensure the greatest fuel efficiency and the greatest reduction in emissions. We also service our engines very carefully to ensure emissions are maintained at a low level.
Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching
Whale Watch West Cork is committed to an accreditation protocol, which dictates that all boat operators should be properly trained to conduct marine wildlife tours in order to maximize the opportunities for customers and minimize pressure on the animals and habitats being viewed. All our skippers are fully trained and boats licensed to conduct marine wildlife tours. We will never pressurise wildlife and operate a "no trace" policy
- we take only pictures and leave only our wake -
Ensure your whale and dolphin watch operator conforms to the following:
- Has a Zoologist/Naturalist on all whale and dolphin watching tours
- Has a DCMNR/Department of Transport qualified Captain
- Holds a full DCMNR/Department of Transport passenger boat license
- Provides complimentary information sheets or packs
- Holds valid boat and passenger insurance
- Conforms to a recognized code of conduct
- Provides a hydrophone for passenger use
- Supports non-invasive research
- Makes educational materials and books available for customer reference
- Provides an interactive commentary throughout tours
- Holds appropriate accreditation from a recognized body
Whale Watch West Cork is a "RESPONSIBLE" whale and dolphin watch operator.
Our Captain, Nic Slocum has been watching whales and dolphins from boats for over 20 years whilst observing and studying the marine wildlife around the Irish and UK coasts. Through his detailed observations of the whales and dolphins of West Cork and his abiding passion for the West Cork coastline and its diverse wildlife Nic has developed a sound understanding of when and where whales and dolphins may be found along the southwest coast. With his commitment to the conservation of the whales and dolphins of West Cork, his onboard interactive commentaries and his experience as a whale watcher, Nic Slocum is ideally qualified to host whale and dolphin watch tours for families and cetacean experts alike off the rugged and beautiful West Cork coastline. A qualified Zoologist, Nic has a PhD awarded by the University of Surrey in the UK. Nic holds Irish DCMNR/Ministry of Transport approved Certificates of Proficiency in First Aid on Board Ships and Personal Survival Techniques and has a Category B endorsement to his License to Operate issued by the DCMNR/Ministry of Transport in Ireland. In addition Nic holds an Advanced Powerboat Certificate issued by the Irish Sailing Association and a Yachtmaster Offshore qualification issued by the Royal Yachting Association. Nic is a qualified SAA Dive Leader (SCUBA) and a veteran of escorted expeditions to remote corners of the globe including New Zealand, Australia and Africa. Nic writes a regular newspaper column entitled Marine Conservation Matters and is frequently asked to comment on marine matters on national and regional radio. Nic has appeared on and provided consultancy to television programmes such as the BBC 999, ITV This Is Your Life and Channel Four A Place By The Sea.
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Consultancy and Charter
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