Wild Side Specialty Tours: Tours with Integrity
Passengers on our intimate journeys are considered our personal guests, who by the end of their journey should be joyful, enlightened, sensitive to the fragility of Hawaii’s marine environment, and have a true sense of place.
We do not seek volume on our tours; we aim only to provide a quality, thought-provoking and potentially life-changing experience. Everyone is welcome, whether you want to nap on the boat’s hammock-like trampolines or explore in the water to your heart’s content. Our charters are for anyone who hears the call of the ocean.
In a global climate of “loving nature to death” Wild Side educates guests about the plight of our local marine life, promotes environmental awareness and stewardship to people from around the world, and leaves them with compassion for our sea life. Every member of our team works hard daily to make sure our guests are safe, having the time of their life, and leave with a better understanding of our host culture and precious resources – we strive to make sure our guests leave the boat with a smile on their faces and a sharing of why we love what we do.
Wild Side is internationally recognized as a professional, innovative, and successful business conducting environmentally responsible marine interactions. We aggressively participate in environmental protection through education and action, promote sustainable travel and to not just leave footprints as the only impression of our travels through sensitive lands, but to also leave a positive and impassioned impression on high-powered travelers and partners as well.
A portion of your fees are donated to the Wild Dolphin Foundation – for marine conservation and education, regulatory reform, and research. We also embrace a range of strict environmentally-based business practices to minimize disturbance to marine wildlife and habitat. Wild Side adheres to the IWC’s General Principles for Whalewatching to minimize the risks of adverse impacts on all cetaceans.
We also work collaboratively with Cascadia Research Collective to whom we submit our photos taken of marine wildlife for abundance and distribution analysis, which has led to the Hawaiian false killer whale being granted endangered species status. We have given scholarships or otherwise donated to diverse organizations as Island Pacific Academy, Radiant Girls Hawaii, Hawaii Ecotourism Association, Ma’o Farms and Kanu Hawaii, as well as sponsored school field trips aboard our vessels.
Wild Side’s Green Travel – Best Practices
We owe an Ocean of Gratitude to all who have supported our efforts and strive for sustainability in their own lives. Wild Side Specialty Tours is honored to report our efforts below:
- Mooring safe for reefs and wildlife
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle We use earth-friendly cleaning products, recycled paper and packaging. We use worm composting to recycle paper and the nutrients from our galley waste.
- Low-sulfur diesel fuel, and EPA compliant engines are combined with best practices – such as GPS guided direct routes.
- Vessels outfitted with low flow toilets
- Removing encountered marine debris when possible, or otherwise reporting it to proper officials.
- Contributing to local non-profits, and employing folks from our own community.
- Office managers work out of their homes rather than drive.
- “Virtual Office” is virtually paperless
- Actively participate in marine issues on both local and national levels.
- Buying locally whenever possible; locally grown, seasonal, or USDA organic food items
- All purchased equipment is as energy efficient as possible, avoid over-packaged goods, and purchase materials in bulk
- Wild Side’s success depends on building productive relationships with one another and third parties based on honesty, integrity, ethical behavior and mutual trust. Every employee should endeavor to deal fairly with each of our customers, and as well as other employees. Any guest or employee wishing to make a report with respect to any of these matters , or to discuss a sensitive issue or question, may call us, make a report by e-mail (contact info below)
In-Water Best Practices
As marine operators, we avoid influencing the natural behavior of any marine life, and encourage our guests to do the same. It is our intention to provide as natural a viewing experience as possible when interacting with the marine environment. Everyone will:
- Be aware of our body and equipment so as to avoid contact with the reef or other marine life.
- Not approach any marine life within arm’s reach for any reason.
- Not approach turtles within 10 feet and will avoid impeding a turtle’s path to the surface for breathing.
- Protect ourselves and marine life and their habitat by not feedingthem to; make animals less aggressive, protect marine life from ingesting harmful foods, protect the balance of the marine ecosystem, and let the fish do their job.
- Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before entering the water.
- Use biodegradable defog.
Increasing the sustainability of natural systems is not just good business, it’s the right thing to do. We support the Hawaii Ecotourism Association’s principles of sustainable tourism, which addresses operating principles in the following content areas:
- Environmental Management
- Staff Management
- Interpretation Management
- Consumer Evaluation Management
- Marketing Management
For more information, please visit: http://www.hawaiiecotourism.org/Review
Wild Side Specialty Tours is based on the Not-Just-For-Profit business model.