Eco Tourism with Wings Whitsunday Adventures

Wing Whitsunday Adventures is globally recognised for travellers choosing an adventure tour that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Our Advanced Eco certification assures travellers our commitment to sustainable practices providing high quality nature based tourism experiences with minimal environmental impact. Wings Whitsunday Adventures pride ourselves in being avid supporters of the Eye on the Reef Monitoring Program. This program relies on select tourism staff with the knowledge and passion for our environment to collect standardised biological information at frequently visited sites. The information is collected weekly, the data analysed and reported back to industry staff, Reef managers and the Reef Research Community. This research helps build and maintain a cost effective and powerful early warning tool for detecting and documenting changes to the Great Barrier Reef marine environment that is significant to reef health. Wings participate in training and education, data collection and analysis, reporting and maintaining communications between the Program Partners with 3 monthly workshops. We encourage our crew to participate in this program in our nominated areas for monitoring and recording data. We record daily observations on a set of standardised indicators on the Eye on the Reef log sheet and look for any changes or coral bleaching or disease on the coral. All our efforts from our crew's participating in Eye on the Reef Program is designed to detect long term seasonal trends and/or major environmental disturbances or anomalies. Separate to the Eye on the Reef Program Wings Whitsunday Adventures also observes the Whitsundays list of protected and dangerous species for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This includes being involved in the removal and extermination of Crown of Thorns: A Starfish destroying our Reef and it's habitat. Wings on numerous occasions have volunteered our vessel and crew to provide a training day for many in the diving industry to actively participate in the removal of these Crown of Thorns. Providing this operation has helped increase awareness in the local community and the diving industry staff as well as the knowledge and volunteers on board for more effective removal. The protected species are: Shells; Helmet, Triton and Tridacnid Clams / Fish; Seahorses, Pipefish, Sea Dragons, Potato Cod, Queensland Grouper, Barramundi Cod, Maori Wrasse and Groupers (epinephelus) more than 100cm / Sharks; Whale, Grey Nurse, Great White, Fresh Water and Green Sawfish / Individual species; Sea Snakes, Dugongs and Loggerhead Turtles. We diary if any separated from their group or outside their natural feeding and breeding area. We report if we see any sick or dead endangered species and give the location in which they were found, this is for the research partners to be able to monitor certain areas to see if a pattern is forming for contaminated water or uneducated divers disturbing the marine life's natural habitat. On board Wings, passengers get a fun Eco slide show on the big screen after dinner. This involves informative interaction with passengers to really inspire public interest to protect and care for our marine mammals and their environment. We share our knowledge for the protection of the Reef and educate the visitors to the Whitsundays the importance of not handling the coral or disturbing marine life in their natural habitat. Our evening is entertaining and informative giving the snorkelers an insight into how we can all enjoy exploring the amazing under water marine life and coral, but also putting importance on being a passive observer so they so they are helping to protect our reef for future generations and not harming or disturbing the natural habitat of our marine life. Our Wings staff will strongly encourage all snorkelers to utilise fun floatation devices to prevent fins from hitting the reef when swimmers struggle and bump into bommies causing breakage. Our passengers enjoy being part of something bigger and learning how they too can help protect the reef.