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Minke Whale

Sustainability Policy

Mission Statement – Our Business cares about our community, our guests, and our planet. We understand the need to protect our natural environment and limit the day-to-day impact of our actions. We aim to follow and champion good sustainability practices, to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities and to give something back to our community.

Our Boats

Our boats all have a most fuel efficient and low noise engines as possible. The fuel tanks on the boats are designed to withstand damage and avoid any spillage using bunded tanks and delivery bowsers (this acts as a safety net). We carry fuel spillage kits on aboard our boats as a second precaution. Islay Sea Adventures strictly follows the CalMac fuelling regulations and delivery method.

Seafood Trips

Here at Islay Sea Adventures, we pride ourselves on sourcing sustainable and local shellfish for our seafood trips. Our Lobster and Crab, along with any other seasonal shellfish, are all purchased from a local fishing boat here on Islay. From fishing boat to plate, the seafood will travel less than 5 miles.

Our scallops are all hand-dived here on Islay, on the same route the Seafood Trip takes. We never use dredged scallops. Again, from sea to plate, the scallops will travel less than 5 miles.

For private Seafood Trips, we can acquire Islay Oysters too. They are grown and harvested at Loch Gruinart. You can go and visit the Oyster Shed Café for yourself!

The dips served during the trip are homemade.

We want to champion the local produce available here on Islay, and the surrounding waters! And we are always looking for new ways to make these trips more sustainable, whilst also supporting local communities and businesses.

Litter picks

The Islay Sea Adventures team are dedicated towards making our local waters and beaches clear of litter. This is especially important to us within the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for Harbour/Common Seals that we visit on our Wildlife Trips. Although summers months can be extremely busy for us, we find the time to do some litter picks.

Community

Islay prides itself on being friendly and having a great community feel, and Islay Sea Adventures is no different. We support local businesses (often working in close collaboration), buy local produce and goods, promote local tourism, support the local schools and community activities as well as providing jobs for local people.

We work with the local schools, both the primaries and the high school. For example, recently, we have been helping with the Rural Skills class at the high school about sustainable fishing. We also offer discounted boat trips to the local primary and secondary schools.

We supported the local charity Sidekick with some donated boat trips as part of their ‘Outdoor Activity Week’. They are working hard at creating a more inclusive Islay and Jura which we are honoured to support in any way we can.

Over the years, we donate a large number of boat trip vouchers to various community raffles and projects.

Recycling 

All rubbish from our boats and office is recycled where possible. We have moved from using plastic drinks containers to reusable options upon our boats.

Public transport

Although we are based on the Scottish island of Islay, we still have plenty of bus links. Our customers can travel to our base in Port Ellen from all other major villages/towns by bus, an eco-friendlier mode of transport for those who wish to use it.

Please find the Islay Bus Timetable here.

Electric Cars

There is a electric car charging point near Port Ellen Pontoons, where the majority of our trips depart from. Please see the ZAP Map below for the location.

ZAPMAP of local EV charging points

Wildlife

A member of our team is our Wildlife Specialist. They have been focused on Islay’s wildlife and environment, finding new ways for Islay Sea Adventures to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They will continue to push this as they continue with us.

We report our marine wildlife sightings to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, aiding in their research.

We are a Wild Scotland Member and a 5* certified Scottish Tourist Board wildlife experience operator.

All our Skippers and Crew have completed The WiSe Scheme – the UK’s national training scheme for minimising disturbance to marine wildlife. We are dedicated to applying this training to our daily trips.

Green Tourism

We are currently in the assessment process with Green Tourism and we are awaiting a grading from them. Through this process will be demonstrate our commitment to sustainability as well as creating an action plan to further our business in it’s green commitment.

For information on Green Tourism, take a look at their website.

The future

In the future we would love to more towards electric boats. These are a greener and more wildlife friendly option, with no emissions and no noise for wildlife. Previously, we have applied for grant to convert one of our charter boats into an electric boat, but unfortunately the money was given elsewhere. This is an expensive venture and something we could not currently do by ourselves. But don’t worry, we are always working towards this goal of having electric boats in our fleet.

It is however worth noting that although electric boats are viable for short journeys, they are not suitable for longer journeys that we often undertake. Currently the technology has not quite reached that level, but hopefully will be there soon. Safety is our top priority always, so we would only use an electric boat for longer more strenuous journeys once we are fully convinced they are safe enough to do so. Our customer’s wellbeing is paramount.

Signed: Angus Newman, Managing Director

Reviewed: October 2023

This policy will be reviewed regularly to evaluate its continued relevance and to monitor our progress.

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