Sustainable Ocean & Wildlife Tours
Here in Tasmania, we are blessed to breathe the cleanest air in any populated place and to be surrounded by a spectacular geodiversity that supports unique plants, marine and wildlife, some species found nowhere else in the world. Tasmania has the world’s biggest exposure of Jurassic dolerite and over 5,000 km of coastline with pristine beaches and rugged rock formations, created on stormy days by the temperate sea.
But you don’t need to live near the coast to be connected to the ocean. The ocean regulates our weather and forms clouds that bring rain and fresh water. Yearly blooms of phytoplankton, microscopic organisms in the ocean, form the basis of life. They produce more than half of the worlds oxygen through photosynthesis, absorb human caused carbon dioxide emissions and serve as a food source for marine animals.
Life evolved in the sea about 3.5 billion years ago, long before humans walked the planet. Yet, it took us only one century to over-harvest the ocean, destroy habitat at land and sea, increase the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere by 25% and risk the eco-system on which we depend. No-one can point the finger, because we are all part of it.
Wild Ocean Tasmania is about creating a deeper understanding and awareness. We want to take with us those people who care and wish to share an amazing, possibly life changing experience. The idea behind our tours is to give something back to the eco-system that supports us and use the profit we make for ocean and wildlife conservation work.
So.., if you love phytoplankton, we love you too! 🙂
What we do:
- Wildlife rehabilitation / raising of orphaned wildlife
- Help with marine research and rescue
- Creating facilities for conservation work and habitat for wildlife
- 20 acres of private native forest to offset our carbon footprint
- Recycled, 100% solar powered shipping container office
- Choice of Honda motors (leader in environmentally responsible technology)
- Avoidance of single use plastics & collection of rubbish out of the Ocean
- Environmental education
- Serving only vegan (cruelty free) food & drinks on our tours
- Encouraging an ethical interaction with all wildlife we encounter
What inspires WOT:
“Love and need over profit and greed!”
These are Lenny & Lily, two of numerous Wallaby joeys that we’ve raised. They were both facing the same fate that many native animals have to face here in Australia. Lilys mother was shot and Lennys mother died when they got hit by a car. These two were lucky that they were found and brought to us, but huge numbers of native animals die each day due to our lifestyle.
If you would like to help or simply find out more about the wildlife that is currently in our care, click on the link below or follow our orphaned wildlife dedicated Instagram account @wild.hearts.rescue!
You can also follow this link to find out why there is so much roadkill in Tasmania and what we can do about it.
Ethical interaction with all wildlife
Giving the marine life space and maintaining course and a slow speed works a treat when watching wildlife out to sea, as the Whales, Dolphins and Seals can predict our movements and trust that it’s safe to interact with us.
When snorkelling with the marine life, we keep our guests on a floating foam mat to avoid splashing and kicking in the water. In our experience, these ethics provide a much better interaction with the wildlife, they generally come much closer and stay with us for longer.
Orca research in Tasmania
Orcas are listed as ‘data deficient’ on the IUCN red list of threatened species. There is not enough information available to issue a conservation status for these animals. We work closely together with David Donnelly of Killer Whales Australia, an organisation dedicated to the conservation of Orcas in Australian waters. Their aim is to identify individual animals and to find out more about their diet and distribution. Killer Whales can be identified due to their dorsal fins (distinctive shape, nicks and scratches) and their saddle patch (the area just behind the dorsal fin). We try to get high resolution photos of these areas to send off to the Australian Orca Database for their ID catalogue.
Wild Ocean Tasmania also provides the research vessel for PhD student Ben Sellers from the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). Ben is hoping to collect fatty tissue samples of the Orcas from aboard our vessel, using a modern biopsy method, which can help in identifying their precise diet.
Whale poo collection
We’re excited to collaborate with more researchers from the IMAS and the university of Tasmania this year to hopefully collect some Baleen Whale faeces samples to help with the analysis of the trace metal and organic carbon content which stimulates the growth of phytoplankton.
Quantifying predator interactions with bait balls / dynamic prey pulses.
A collaboration with researches from IMAS and UTAS to quantify the way in which both predators and prey respond during feeding events. The aim was to develop methods to automatically detect and recognise the predators in underwater videos. We supplied 150Gb of underwater footage for this project, that showed Seals, Dolphins and Tuna feed on bait balls.
Marine life rescue
Working on the Ocean, we often come across animals, predominantly sea birds, that suffer from pollution and human impact. This black-faced cormorant swallowed a hook and got entangled in a fishing line.
The fur seal on the photo below got entangled in a fishing net which is now deeply embedded into its skin. When the entanglement is not too bad, we can help the animals straight away. In this case we had to notify the Wildlife Management Branch of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment to take action.
If you would like to book your special Tasmanian wildlife experience with an ethical, small business and support us with our wildlife conservation work, click on the link below! 🙂