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A PrActicAl Guide to Good PrActice
Managing Environmental Impacts in the Marine Sector with a Particular Focus on the Gálapagos
Using this self-Assessment CheCklist
This checklist has been developed to help marine-based tour operators assess the level of good practices currently demonstrated by their businesses. The checklist follows a similar structure as the guide, with each set of questions corresponding to the good practices suggested under a key action area discussed in the document. Each question can be answered with a simple yes or no. In most cases, examples of the kinds of good practices that would constitute a “yes” answer are also provided. More examples can be found by referring back to the corresponding sections of the guide. This checklist can be used as a tool for discussing and analyzing a tour operator’s conduct as well as that of its providers and suppliers. Visitors may also use the checklist to evaluate and choose tour operators and other tourism-related service providers that demonstrate good practices. The tool can be used to measure year-by-year progress on changes introduced to protect the environment, foster local development or safeguard marine ecosystems. The checklist can also provide the basis for a code of conduct or service agreements with suppliers, or might serve as a yardstick for choosing new partners who share these priorities.
AnChoring 1. Do you use, and support the installation and use of, mooring buoys as an alternative to anchoring around reefs and other sensitive near-shore marine areas? h yes h no 2. Do you use drift dives instead of anchored dives if no moorings are available? h yes h no 3. When anchoring is unavoidable, do you ensure that your tour boats are anchored in designated areas? h yes h no 4. Do you educate your clients about anchoring good practices? h yes h no
boAt operAtion 5. Do you follow proper navigation and mooring principles when operating boats? h yes h no 6. Do you keep your boats in good condition by: Implementing a regular service and maintenance program? h yes h no Carrying the necessary equipment on every vessel? h yes h no Using non-toxic oils and chemicals? h yes h no Refueling only at the dock? h no
6. Do you educate your customers about good boating practices and the sensitive nature of near-shore marine ecosystems? h yes h no boAt mAintenAnCe 7. Do you perform regular maintenance and inspection of boats? h yes h no 8. Do you take steps to reduce or eliminate water pollution by: Using non-toxic anti-fouling paints? h yes h no Using biodegradable cleaning products? h yes h no Keeping toxic absorbent sponges in bilges? h yes h no Avoiding pumping oily bilge water or other hazardous substances into the sea? h no
non-nAtive speCies 9. Do you take actions to minimize the introduction and dispersal of non-native species by: Controlling food introduction? h yes h no Preventing the unintentional transport of insects and small animals? h yes h no Fumigating boats regularly? h yes h no Decreasing the number of lights on deck to avoid attracting insects? h yes h no Storing products from the mainland in designated storage rooms? h yes h no boAt sewAge And gArbAge disposAl 10. Do you take steps to minimize discharge of untreated sewage and wastewater by: Treating sewage prior to release? h yes h no Keeping sanitation devices in good working order? h yes h no Supporting the establishment of no-discharge zones? h no
11. Do you take actions to prevent the introduction of garbage or solid waste into the marine environment by: Controlling the disposal of organic food waste? h yes h no Reducing the use of disposable products and reusing products wherever possible? h no Removing all fishing nets and lines from the water? h no
h yes h yes
12.Do you educate tourists about good waste disposal practices? h yes h no 3
toUrism And environmentAl ACtivities
mArine toUrism And ClimAte ChAnge 13. Do you take measures to reduce energy consumption as much as possible for both electricity and fuel? h yes h no 14. Do you avoid habitat degradation, erosion and pressure on water resources? h yes h no 15. Do you take measures to ensure that new infrastructure and practices do not harm critical marine habitats, such as kelp and mangroves? h yes h no 16. Do you avoid pollution such as dumping of wastewater and garbage? h yes h no 17. Do you educate visitors about the effects of climate change on the Gálapagos Islands? h yes h no 18. Do you donate money to conservation projects that support climate change mitigation? h yes h no hiking 19. Do you keep tour numbers to 15 people or less for adventure activities? h yes h no 20. Does your tour avoid highly sensitive sites? h yes h no 21. On your tour, do you: Utilize existing and defined roads, tracks, river and creek crossing and trails? h yes h no Avoid clearing new tracks and camping sites? h no Focus on using areas which have site-hardening infrastructure (e.g. boardwalks, graveled paths, bird hides, and designated camp sites)? h yes h no
22. Do you discourage the removal of plants, animals or rock formations? h yes h no 4 4
CoAstAl And mArine wildlife viewing 23. Do you provide trainings, briefings or literature for employees and tourists regarding good environmental practices for marine wildlife interaction? h yes h no 24. Do you support a no-contact policy when viewing marine animals? h yes h no 25. Do you discourage the feeding of marine wildlife, such as sharks, reef fish and other animals, by employees and tourists? h yes h no 26. Do you support—and educate employees and tourists about—all national laws and regulations protecting marine wildlife? h yes h no 27. If marine wildlife is used in shows or exhibits, do you ensure that all animals are purchased in a legal manner and that entertainment activities do not negatively affect the health or stress levels of the captive animals? h yes h no
snorkeling, diving And snUbA 28. Do you promote a policy of no-contact with corals and no handling or feeding of wildlife, such as sharks, reef fish and turtles, for boat passengers and crew? h yes h no 29. Do you provide environmental education to onboard divemasters, videographers, photographers and crew regarding the effects that human contact and harassment can have on corals and marine animals? h yes h no 30. Do you provide an environmental code of conduct and/or onboard environmental briefings and literature for tourists, in order to reduce the impacts of snorkeling, diving and snuba on marine ecosystems and wildlife? h yes h no 31. Do you conduct refresher courses and buoyancy control orientation for new or out-of-practice divers and provide information on the importance of proper weighting and streamlining of gear? h yes h no 32. Do you support polices, such as mooring buoy projects and the establishment of marine protected areas, that can help minimize impacts on marine environments? h yes h no seAfood ConsUmption And soUvenir pUrChAsing 33. Do you support good environmental practices to avoid catching and serving rare, threatened or endangered marine species for seafood consumption? h yes h no 34. Do you support good environmental practices and educate consumers about the negative environmental impacts of harvesting marine species from coral reefs and other marine environments to sell as ornamental souvenirs? h yes h no
reCreAtionAl fishing 35. Do you practice catch-and-release fishing programs, particularly for any species that has been severely reduced in stock or listed as threatened or endangered? h yes h no 36. Do you avoid spear fishing? h yes h no 37. Do you ensure that monofilament line and other forms of debris are not discarded into the ocean and that tourists are educated about this issue? h yes h no 38. Do you comply with and educate clients about all national laws and regulations governing the harvest of fish species in your region of operations? h yes h no
This publication was developed by Conservation International in partnership with Rainforest Alliance and the United Nations Environment Programme. For additional copies of this publication, please visit www.ecotour.org. 8
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