We love our Island and the whale sharks. Not only is this our home and the sharks our residents but this is also now our business. Without the sharks, we can not earn a living so it is important that we protect them and their environment.
With the help of volunteers, Bex and Gil, we have turned our business into an Eco-tour company. Here are our promises:
1. Follow the code of conduct when swimming with sharks
This means ensuring we keep a distance so we never harm them with the boat propellers. And making sure the tourists know important rules like never touching the shark.
2. Plastic-free environment
Tourists aren’t able to drink tap water so there is no way around us giving out bottled water. However, our staff use reusable bottles! And we do not have any plastic straws in our bar.
3. Litter picking from the sea and beach cleans
Plastic is a real problem in our oceans and is harming wildlife (as well as littering our beautiful island!). We do regular beach cleans and when we are on tour we collect any plastic that we see in the water that crosses our path. It never disrupts our tours but enables us to leave the ocean a little cleaner every day.
4. Education and engagement
Our staff are educated on the issues surrounding conservation of the sharks and their home. We like to share these with our visitors to try and inspire change. We also visit schools in Mafia to speak to the local children about whale sharks and how to look after them. As locals who started out in poor homes and are now business owners, we are a great inspiration to the children!
5. Eco-bungalows and bar
Our bar and bungalows run off solar panels to help reduce our environmental impact.
Occasionally we take volunteers who are to offer an exchange of services. There are many ways we need help such as collecting data on the sharks we swim with and improving the English and knowledge of our staff. This is not a packaged program, but an exchange of cultures and services. We will only take independent and skilled individuals who are able to add value to our business and conservation efforts. In return, we would like to share our culture with you and can involve you in the daily whale shark tours.
If you are interested, please send details via email to bex@loveherwild clearly stating how we can work together.